Phenomena of maths anxiety


Published on

Published in: Technology, Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Phenomena of maths anxiety

  1. 1. Phenomena of Mathematical AnxietyWhat is it math anxiety?Math anxiety has been described as feelings of tension and anxiety that interfere with themanipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problem. An unpleasant feeling thatone has when dealing with anything related to numbers and figures. Person with mathematicsanxiety react negatively towards activity involving mathematics or numbers. For an example,some find Sudoku as a fun game, but some do not even care how to solve Sudoku and regardsthem as only for genius people. Though this kind of game only need you to count 1-9 and logic.Why math anxiety does happen?According to the book, there are seven factors that have been highlighted as being the causesof mathematics anxiety: 1. Teacher personality and their style of teaching Teacher plays an important role to attract the students towards learning mathematics. Students with lower interest in mathematics will try to avoid the subject, their performance in mathematics getting worse, and finally they will become convinced that they are not good in handling the subject. 2. Public examinations and their effect There is a perception that getting an A for mathematics in public examination reflect that the person has better IQ. Good achievement in Mathematics has also been the basic requirement for the student to further their studies; hence it is not a surprised that they felt threatened by mathematics examination. 3. Affective domain-the self factor such as personality, perception. Students with low achievement in mathematics usually those with low self esteem and slow learner, easily giving-up, dislike of being challenged, low confidence and self blaming for poor mathematics performance. 4. Feelings, worries, difficulties (memory, innate disability) Constant failure in solving mathematical problem hence triggers the dislike for the subject. 5. Parental expectations- their aspirations and standards The students think too much to meet the expectations and standards of their parents. Pressure from family; especially if any of the family members do better in mathematics. 6. Peer group influences Students with low performance (slow learner) try to move the same phase as those with higher achievements in mathematics, and if they failed to do so, they give up. Students with low performance’s belief that they will not do better, they then influence friends in their circle. 1
  2. 2. Phenomena of Mathematical Anxiety 7. Relevance -the usage of mathematics in everyday life They cannot relate the theories they have learnt in mathematics lesson to the real life situation.Who has math anxiety?There is a pattern referring to those individuals with mathematics anxiety. They are usually theone with negative experiences throughout the process of learning mathematics (be it theexternal factors such as peers influences, pressure from the family, teacher’s failure) which leadto poor performances in mathematics and finally leads to anxiety.Or it starts with the individual with anxiety (internal factor) who worried too much, trying too hardto excel in mathematics (without realizing that he lose the essence of mathematics for example:one who memorize mathematics instead of understand mathematics) which lead to tension andpressure, then lead to unable to perform well in mathematics and try to avoid mathematics andfinally results in poor performance in mathematics.Basically, one who has mathematics anxiety has no self confidence.Who created math anxiety?This is the same as talking about the source of mathematical anxiety. The book, FactorsAssociated with Mathematics Anxiety highlighted 3 different sources of mathematics anxietywhich is: 1. Personality of a person-doubt about his own ability, attitude towards mathematics 2. Situation that surrounded the person-external factors, teacher’s approach to teach mathematics, mathematics teachers’ personality. 3. Environment of the individual in the past-family background, parental factorsWhen it happens?We can actually identify that a person has mathematical anxiety when he avoid mathematics oranything related to numbers and equations. Constant failure in mathematics examination also areason for them to build a belief that they are not good in mathematics.How do you reduce math anxiety?To overcome mathematics anxiety, it starts with the individual himself. To look things on thepositive side, self perception is very much important as this is the point where, the anxietytowards mathematics starts. To understand that mathematics is not something you were bornwith is very important. Understanding mathematics requires a lot of hard work and practices.And one has to realize that he or she will learn nothing by memorizing the formula ormemorizing steps to solve one mathematical problem. 2
  3. 3. Phenomena of Mathematical AnxietyHe also has to avoid the external factors that lead to mathematics anxiety. Be friend to thosewho struggle and work hard to achieve good grades in mathematics will help. Different peoplehave different phase in learning something. The more you work, the more you learn.Teachers too, play an important role in promoting interest towards mathematics to theirstudents. Teacher has to identify students with mathematics anxiety and help them to overcomeit. Mathematics should be viewed as something fun for them to learn and explore. Teacher hasto apply different approach to deliver the content of mathematics rather than ‘take it or leave it’approach.Supports from the family also play a part in reducing mathematics anxiety. Motivation andencouragement instead of pressure and setting up a standard (a certain level) the children haveto achieve in mathematics. They have to identify their children’s ability in learning something,and support them (ie: provide home tutor, appreciate their effort and improvement with gift)How do you eliminate math anxiety?In my opinion, one cannot eliminate mathematics anxiety completely. It is a matter of the level ofanxiety that an individual has and how he handle it. Mathematics should not be perceived asfacts and formula but instead an art of simplifying real life situations into numbers, figures andequations. For an example, how many people actually realized that they are using statisticalconcept when they tossed a die? How many people relate division operation to cutting a pizzainto 8 equal pieces? Once we get familiar to mathematics (which is when you practice and workon mathematics often), there is nothing to be afraid of anymore. 3