This
paper explores the association between the perceived classroom environment and
mathematics learning and test anxiety among secondary level students in Nepal.
Categorizing the students in three dominant variables- gender, ethnicity and
previous schooling, and selecting sample students with respect to higher
mathematics anxiety from five heterogeneous classes, the research explores
disparities in student's mathematics cognition and reveals the nexus between
classroom environment and mathematics learning and test anxiety. This research
incorporates social learning theory and social development theory as
interpretive tools for analyzing themes through qualitative data. Focusing on
interviews with highly anxious students learning mathematics, the study sheds
light on how mathematics anxiety among the targeted students is interlinked
with multiple factors. The research basically exposes the students’ lack of
mathematical passion, their association with other students and participation
in classroom learning, asymmetrical content and their lack of preparedness for
tests, as the caustic factors behind such anxieties. The study further reveals
that students’ lack of foundational knowledge and the complexity of the mathematical
content have jointly contributed to mathematics anxiety. Admitting learning as
a reciprocal experience, the study points out that the students’ gender,
ethnicity and disparities in previous schooling in the context of Nepal has
very insignificant impact on students’ mathematics anxiety. It finally
recommends that those students who get trapped into the vicious cycle of
mathematics anxiety require a positive and supportive classroom environment
along with inspiring comments/compliments and symmetrical course contents.
Anxiety, Asymmetry, Cognition, Habitus, Pedagogy