SME6044 – Contemporary Issues in Mathematics EducationMATHEMATICS ANXIETY Group members : 1. Chung Wai Cheong – M20102001089 2. Taw Mei Yoke – M20111000335 3. Teh Guan Leong – M20112001445 4. Wong Wai Lun – M20112001446 5. Wong Wang Yuen – M20111000734
What is Math Anxiety?1. Websters New Word Dictionary explains anxiety as worry or uneasiness about what may happen.2. Feelings of tension, apprehension, or even dread that interferes with the ordinary manipulation of number and the solving of mathematical problems (Ashcraft & Faust, 1994)3. The panic, helplessness, paralysis and mental disorganization that arises among some people when they are required to solve a mathematical problem (Tobias & Weissbrod, 1980)
What is Math Anxiety?4. Like stage fright, math anxiety can be a disabling condition, causing humiliation, resentment, and even panic. (http://www.mathacademy.com/pr/minitext/anxiety/)5. Math anxiety can cause on to forget and lose ones self confidence (Tobias, S., 1993)6. Anxiety is something felt, an unpleasant emotional (affective) state that is universally experienced. (Freud, 1936)
Some quotes from Students "Some people can do math - not me!""When I look at a math problem, my mind goes completely blank. I feel stupid, and I cant remember how to do even the simplest things""In math theres always one right answer, and if you cant find it youve failed. That makes me crazy."
Some quotes from Students "Math exams terrify me. My palms get sweaty, Ibreathe too fast, and often I cant even make my eyes focus on the paper. Its worse if I look around, because Id see everybody elseworking, and know that Im the only one who cant do it" "Sometimes I do problems my own way. Even though I get the right answer my teacher would not give me credit because I didnt do it the way he showed us"
MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTION1. Aptitude for mathematics is inborn2. To be good at mathematics you have to be good at calculating3. Maths requires logic, not creativity4. In mathematics, whats important is getting the right answer5. Men are naturally better than women at mathematical thinking
Math anxiety has been related to personality type, a negative attitude toward mathematics, mathematics avoidance, mathematics background, instructor behaviors, level of mathematics achievement, lack of confidence, and negative schoolexperiences (Bursal & Paznokas, 2006).
Causes / Factors From the research that conducted (Puteh, 1998), it was found that the causes of mathematics anxiety were related to:• teacher personality• public examination• affective domain• feelings, worries, difficulties• parents• peer group• relevance
Teacher personality and theirteaching style• Bias Aiken (1976) reported• creativity more generally that the attitudes of teachers• individual help themselves towards• force/thread mathematics have and influence on their pupils• not attentive attitudes and also an• authority/culture influence on the style and methods that they will• blame then adopt in imparting• public humiliation the knowledge and skills• unrealistic of mathematics in their turn. expectation
The teacher should control behavior, but not thought (Buxton, 1981).The mathematics teacher needs to be creative in his teaching methods, so students do not lose interest. This idea is supported by a study conducted by Pyne, Bates, and Turner (1995).
Many teachers promote the false idea thatfemales cannot perform as well as males inmathematics (Jackson & Leffingwell, 1999).Again, the teacher needs to be aware of his words, sighs, and overall body language (Jackson & Leffingwell,1999).
Public examination• exam-oriented Betz (1978) revealed• pressure that the level of mathematics anxiety• timed test reported was related to• future scores on a standardized mathematics• rating achievement test.• filter• panic• pass experience
Affective domainModified version of Mitchell and Collins (1991,p. 30)Attitudes Expectation Anxiety Disability"Maths is "Ill be Flight/ Unabledifficult humiliated" avoidance to thinkfor me" Some students encounter shock when transfer from primary to secondary.
Feeling, worries, difficultiesJOURNAL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICSEDUCATION IN S.E. ASIA Vol. 26, No. 2Significant differences in feelings were notedwith regards to the rank order of theproblems they chose to solve.
Feeling, worries, difficultiesWhich problem to solve first?Easiest problem, familiar problem, minimumworking, understand problemWhich problem to solve last?Multiple steps, more time required, lack ofunderstanding
Parental expectation - theiraspiration and standards• high pay As stated earlier that a• expectation/ students self esteem and mathematical standard confidence is directly• practical support related to their parents perception and• comparison expectation according to• role model Kober (1991)
Teachers and parents that are afraid ofmathematics pass that on to their students and children (Furner & Duffy, 2002).
Peer group influences• lack of support Shapiros (1962) findings• knowledge indicated that peer attitudes in elementary• effects school may indeed be influential, especially in the cases of girls.
Relevance• usage/application in daily life• constant failure• memorized as solution• understanding is critical• use as punishment
Mathematics certainly means many things to many people(Marzita binti Puteh, 2002).
The Mathematics Anxiety Pattern (Puteh, 2002) AvoidanceNegative I’m poor in Fearexperiences mathematics , panic, worry, anxietyinvolvingmathematics Unable to perform
Contribution to the formation of negativeattitudes and mathematics anxiety (Puteh,2002)• Fear of asking for help• Teachers blaming students for not understanding.• Teacher ridiculing students• Teacher’s strictness and fierceness.• Use of treats and force by teachers• Teachers not showing interest in their students• Teaching style which emphasis the transfer of information and not attention to the learning of the individual.
Pressure of examination and its effect onstudents. Betz (1978)- the level of mathematics anxiety was related to scores . [low math anxiety , high achievement scores, and vice versa]
Family/Parental & Peer Group InfluencesTowards Mathematics Poffeenberger and Norton (1959)- Parents affect on child’s attitude and performance in 3 ways. 1) by parental encouragement, 2) by parent’s own attitudes, 3) by parental expectations of child’s achievement. This two factors have great impact on students performance and math anxiety
Family/Parental ,Teacher & Peer GroupStudies• Kenschaft (1991) reported that parent’s support or lack of support is an important in students’ attitude and participation in mathematics instruction.• Dossey (1992) considered teachers important role in shaping attitudes towards mathematics.• Harris (1995) concluded that peer affiliations become increasingly more influential on shaping attitudes than parents and teachers.
Math Anxiety in Elementary and Secondary School Students A review of the Literature by Allen Wigfield(1988) Judith L.Meece University of Michigan University of North CarolinaJournal of Educational Psychology 1988. Vol.80. No.2,210-215
Introduction Studies have documented the negative effects of math anxiety on math performance and achievement. Students Math anxiety may impact on their ability to learn Math Effectively. Liebert and Morris (1967) distinguished two component of test anxiety,WORRY-cognitive components.EMOTIONALLY-affective components
Purpose of study to examine age andgender difference in Math Anxiety• Age (High) – Pressure more, Anxiety level (High)• (Elementary school does not emphasize evaluation as much)• Gender: Boys & Girls did not differ in their Math WORRY report. (Indicates they are equally concern about doing well in Math.• Girls more negative affection reactions to Math compare to boys. ( Indicates when Math harder, girls more likely to stop taking math)
Suggestion by researchers• Suggest that intervention programs• To alleviate the negative effects of math anxiety must deal with both affective and cognitive aspects of math anxiety.• Should be implemented during the elementary school years• Before children’s anxiety about math becomes strongly established.
How Negative Expectancies andAttitudes Undermine Females’ Math Confidence and Performance: A review of the Literature by Jennifer Gutbezahl (1995) University of Massachusetts, Amherst ED 380 279
Summary• Societies as a whole believe females are less mathematically capable than males.• This belief is communicated to parents and teachers, who pass it along to students.• Girls come to view their failures in math as evidence that they are indeed inferior and to view their successes as flukes.
Cycle of Low Expectancy on femaleStudents by Parents and Teachers Lower Lower Performance Expectations Negative Expectancies Parents & Attitudes Expectations about Math Teachers Expectations
Continue• This belief reinforces the belief that females are not capable of doing well in math.• Females stop taking advanced math courses in high school or college, believing them too difficult.• In the end, the expectancies of their parents and teachers are fulfilled and society was further “proof” of females’ inferior math ability
Surprisingly about this cycle• Differences between males’ and females’ performance is quite small .• There is no sig. difference between boys and girls match achievement in elementary school, and few difference at any age (Feingold,1988;NAEP,1983; Shipman, Krantz & Silver,1992)• And these differences are getting smaller over time (Hyde & Linn, 1988)
Future trend of females’ ability• In future, these differences decrease, parents and teachers will see more that females are capable of performing well in mathematics.• This will lead to more parental and academic support, further enhancing females’ ability.• In this way, the cycle may be broken ( IT HAS BROKEN AS WE CAN SEE NOWADAYS MORE AND MORE FEMALES EXCEL GREATER THAN MALES.)
The Effects of Mathematics Anxiety on Matriculation Students as Related toMotivation and Achievement: A review of the Literature by; Effandi Zakaria & Norazah Mohd Nordin (2008) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 2008, 4(1), 27-30
Math Anxiety & MotivationMath Anxiety & AchievementStudy FindingsMath Anxiety (High), Achievement (Low)Math Anxiety (High), Motivation (Low) The results of this study provide evidence that math anxiety has an important effect in math education. Therefore, teacher should be thinking on how to reduce students’ anxieties by finding a better way to teach mathematics
ImplicationsWoodard (2004) suggested techniques:1. Create an environment in which students do not feel threatened and allow them to relax2. Use cooperative grouping3. Teach at as slow pace. (comprehend better)4. Provide extra tuition session.
Literature Review Conclusion• Mathematics anxiety exists and potentially affecting the associated learning.• The root can be affective and cognitive, with people’s beliefs influencing the way they think about math and subsequently affecting their learning.• Evidence show ability to do mathematics is strongly influenced by people’s attitudes rather than any cognitive skills.• We need to further research how to prevent such anxiety.
IMPLICATIONTEACHERS SIDE OF ANXIETY (Teaching Anxiety)
Anxiety on Math• Personality• Environment• Intellectual
PersonalityEmotion: • Before works • Family matters • Works not done – being assign/taking part in activities in particular month (s)Experiences: • Unpleasant math experience • Previous students on particular topics • Preset in mind (distributed to weak/ talent classes)
Environment• Facilities - damage• Spontaneous event (announcement)• Cultural misconception / Gender Misconception – issues of male doing better than female• Pressure from parents • Too much concerning on improvement • Bothering teacher all the time
IntellectualConceptual knowledge • Performs but lack of concept…Anxious abilities in certain area • Carried heaviest marksAcceptation of different learning background • Different application
Assess Students’ Attitude• Teachers assess their students attitudes toward math at the beginning of a school year by having them complete the following mathitude survey. 1. When I hear the word math I....... 2. My favourite thing in math is...... 3. My least favourite thing in math is....... 4. If I could ask for one thing in math it would be.......... 5. My favourite teacher for math is.....
Change: Teaching ApproachesTeachers need to help kids see the importantof math. Pupils learn to value and see application for learning math inside and outside the classroom. Help students realize that it is not something from which they can escape, but a tool they need to learn how to use. It is important to become confident in one’s ability to do math.
Change: Teaching Approaches Teachers must employ best practices for teaching mathematics in their classrooms. Address different learning style.a) the use of manipulative (make learning math concrete) pictures and symbols to model or represent abstract ideasb) the use of cooperative group work provide students a chance to exchange ideas
Change: Teaching Approachesc) the use of calculators, computers, and all technology interactive motion game, graphing calculator, note and video online…d) the use of games, jokes and cartoons cards playing, Tangrams, experimenting…
Change: Teaching Approachese) the use of the assessment of learning as a part of instruction employ alternative and authentic assessment.f) the role of the teacher of being a facilitator of learning discussing feelings, attitudes, and appreciation for mathematics with students regularly
Change: Teaching ApproachesTeach test taking and study skills!a) Teach note-taking skillsb) Teach test-taking skillsc) Teach relaxation techniquesd) Teach the importance of homework/studyinge) Teach how to read and use the textbookf) Teach positive “I” messagesg) Teach visualization of success in math
Change: Learning Approaches Introduce the ten self-help techniques for combating math anxiety.1. Learn stress management and relaxation techniques.2. Combat negative thinking.3. Visualize yourself succeeding.4. Do “easiest” problems first.5. Start preparing early.
Change: Learning ApproachesIntroduce the ten self-help techniques forcombating math anxiety.6. Try to understand the “why” of math concepts rather than memorizing.7. Find a support group.8. Do math every day and study smart.9. Utilize all your resources.10. Reward yourself for hard work.
Conclusion• Math anxiety happens in the classroom due to the lack of consideration of different learning styles of students.• Math must be looked upon in a positive light to reduce math anxiety.• Teachers must re-examine traditional teaching methods which often do not match students’ learning styles and skills needed in society.• As a result once young children see math as fun, they will enjoy it, and, the joy of mathematics could remain with them throughout the rest of their lives.
Paraphrase A Chinese proverb “Tell me mathematics, and I will forget; show me mathematics and I may remember,involve me...and I will understand mathematics.” If I understand mathematics, I will be less likely to have math anxiety. And if I become a teacher of mathematics, I can thus begin a cycle that will produce less math-anxious students for generations to come.