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Maths phobia

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Common Disease found among Yungsters these days.......!!!!!!

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Maths phobia

  1. 1. Understanding Maths Phobia The purpose of this event is to provide a reflective space in which we as professionals from a great many different backgrounds can share our ideas and experiences with the aim of developing our ability to help maths phobic students to deal with the demands of their chosen degree.
  2. 2. The format of the event1. A 25 minute presentation to stimulate and give direction to your thinking2. 1 hour of facilitated discussion in small groups. Each group is requested to make some notes.3. 30 minutes to eat the light supper provided and look at the notes of the other groups.
  3. 3. What is the ‘maths anxious’ experience?
  4. 4. Empathy• Sensing another person’s private world as if it were one’s own• Being able to communicate this understanding• verbally and non-verbally• in a manner tuned to the other’s feelings
  5. 5. Katy• What do you learn from the video about the experience of maths anxiety?
  6. 6. At this point a video was shown a short armature video was shown.The video was made at Loughborough and shows one of their students talking about her experiences. She was happy for this to be shown to a small group of people but has not given permission for it to be put on the internet.She is a mature student in her mid twenties who first talks freely about her school experience and the development of her anxiety. She also tells us about the impact her maths anxiety had on her personal development. She then tells us about overcoming the effect of the anxiety, passing her GCSE maths and later the maths modules in her degree. She is clear about the coping strategies she has developed but tells us that the anxiety will never go away.The following slides give a good impression of what she said.
  7. 7. Reflection
  8. 8. Reflection• Not understanding – anxiety• Getting behind – more anxiety• ‘may seem simple to others’ – humiliation• Trying to control anxiety as well as learn maths• ‘I SHOULD be able to’• Anxiety → panic attacks → generalised fear
  9. 9. • Coping strategies – Deep breathing – Thinking positively – Little chunk at a time – Build on past sense of achievement – Determination “I don’t want these difficulties to hinder me further”
  10. 10. “People are not disturbed by things but by the views which they take of them” Epictetus
  11. 11. • Is it maths itself which is disturbing, or is it the way in which it is viewed?
  12. 12. Common Misunderstandings Maths requires a good memory Maths is not creative Maths is always right or wrong There is a best way to do a maths problem Men are better than womenKogelman and Warren (1979) Mind Over Math, McGraw-Hill, New York, pp30 –42
  13. 13. Sources of misunderstandings and anxiety• Teachers – don’t like maths • Pass on their own attitudes – teach it as they learnt it, badly • As a closed, cold and uncreative subject – fail to distinguish different learning styles • Grasshoppers and inchworms ⇒ belief that failure to understand is the result of a lack of effort or attention • punish this ‘bad behaviour’.
  14. 14. Compounding the problem Society:– Why do you have an accountant?– Employers– Perception of mathematically gifted • strange exceptionally intelligent frightening‘ • Lacking in empathy⇒ belief (especially in the world of the support services) that empathy ALONE is sufficient to teach maths to the maths phobic
  15. 15. How do we help?Maths tutors need to develop BOTH empathy and an appreciation of maths as acreative and satisfying subject

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