New research due to be presented at the Association of Science Education conference yesterday, found trainee primary teachers were anxious about their mathematical abilities - even if they had studied the subject to A-level.
A survey of 28 trainees by researchers at St Martin's College, Lancaster, found they remembered their own maths lessons as "nightmarih", "monotonous", and "an uphill struggle".
The students complained about rote-learning of times-tables and maths lessons that had been too textbook-based.
The researchers said that, if mathematics was seen as "a regimented, discipline lacking practical approaches or surprises", then it was understandable that the students had been turned off.
"Mathematical anxiety among primary QTS students", by Stuart Green and Mike Ollerton, St Martin's College, Lancaster. Tel: 01524 384384