Recent research findings indicate that students’ performance is influenced by psychological factors such as math anxiety. For that reason, this study examined the existence of math anxiety in primary education and how math anxiety differentiates according to gender. The random sample generated by the function RAND in Microsoft Excel, from four public school records in Greece, consisted of 72 girls and 48 boys attending sixth grade (11-12 years old). The method had a quantitative approach using as a gathering-data tool a questionnaire. A fifteen-question questionnaire, relatively reliable, was developed which employed the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS), the Mathematics Anxiety Scale (MAS) and the Abbreviated Math Anxiety Scale (AMAS). Analysis of the results with Excel and SPSS 21 showed that math anxiety existed at primary school aged pupils, while the female pupils exhibited higher math anxiety than their male counterparts. For that reason, teachers need to develop new strategies to confront this phenomenon.
Keywords: Math anxiety, gender differences, teaching mathematics, Primary education