If you’ve ever felt that you’re not good at math, or told yourself “I detest math,” or “math simply doesn’t make sense to me,” you’ve probably faced math anxiety. Mathematics anxiety is a major concern for students and educators today, with estimates ranging from 20% to 50% of Americans suffering from some sort of math anxiety.
What is Math Anxiety?
Math anxiety is characterized by a strong concern, fear, or anxiety over one’s capacity to grasp and perform in math. However, math anxiety does not end with feelings. Instead, these intense negative feelings put in action a self-destructive cycle of worry, which leads to bad performance, which leads to greater anxiety, which leads to even lower performance.
This loop may be devastating to a student’s confidence and feeling of academic accomplishment, and it can even start to have an impact on courses and areas of life other than math.
What triggers math anxiety?
According to the researchers, math anxiety is the product of several unpleasant experiences and ideas about arithmetic that occur throughout a person’s life, rather than a single cause.
These encounters can be as innocuous as a parent discussing their hate of mathematics with their children. It might also be prompted in part by a poor classroom experience in which a student misinterpreted an issue and felt ashamed in front of a teacher or other pupils. It can even be as blunt and demotivating as informing a pupil that he or she is just not good at math.
The issue is that once a person feels he or she is incapable of understanding or performing in math, performance decreases, and the cycle of deterioration begins.
Tips to help your students overcome math anxiety:
There are several studies and ways proposed by experts and educators to assist college students in overcoming their mental math phobia. Here are some popular methods for assisting a youngster with math anxiety.
1- Be alert for early signs of Math anxiety:
The first step in overcoming math anxiety is to become aware of it. You may assist a kid in overcoming math anxiety by being aware of its signs. So, if you hear a student complaining about math or being self-deprecating about their own math ability, take action!
The good news is that math anxiety can be treated, and there are a range of practical math anxiety remedies you can use as an instructor every day to aid your kids.
2- Showing vs Telling:
The following phase in the process is to teach mathematics in novel methods. Determine your student’s learning style and address their specific strengths and shortcomings.
Visual learners, for example, attempt to integrate mathematical principles with real-life applications that help them appreciate the interrelationship of various concepts. Allow students who are doers to deal with difficulties and think about them aloud.
At this stage, technology such as interactive touch displays, and tablets may be incredibly beneficial. These technologies enable teachers to collaborate with students in innovative ways in Mathematics. On these devices, there are several math applications, pre-built lessons, and games that can be used to fulfill the demands of different learning styles.
There are also a lot of educational apps and digital tools like tsfa.co, for example, which is a famous math solver online known as MathMaster. It helps kids and students who have difficulties with their math problems and enables them to solve the tasks they’re stuck with which helps them discover new techniques and makes their minds even sharper.
These tools, like MathMaster, are ideal for high school students, as well as college students for their math homework and problems.
3- Address the head of common mathematical myths:
Once you’ve discovered a kid’s mathematical anxiety, start by addressing the math misconceptions that students think about themselves.
It is critical that your students hear you dispute the idea that guys are better at math than ladies, or kids who feel they are intellectually incapable of comprehending math.
You may assist your student recognize the reality about their own talents by carefully recognizing and tackling these myths. Your assistance in this manner can be critical in restoring a student’s confidence in his or her ability and putting him or her on the path to future success in mathematics.
4- Foster a growth mindset:
One of the first realities that students must comprehend is their own mind’s incredible power to build knowledge and aptitude to perform in mathematics.
The brain is a remarkable organ that is capable of incredible feats. The portion of the brain responsible for mathematical computation may grow and develop independently of age, gender, or inheritance.
This basic concept empowers many kids and helps them see that comprehending and performing well in math is simply a matter of choosing the appropriate strategy.
5- Develop a new approach:
Anxiety, according to the researchers, consumes the brain’s working memory bandwidth. When the brain’s working memory is maxed out due to worry and fear of mathematics, it will undoubtedly suffer performance hits when doing mathematical operations.
Teachers might urge students to practice deep breathing before math projects to help them relax, or they can write down their worries ahead of time. Simple techniques like these, according to research, can help students identify their mental math phobia, alleviate anxiety, and free the brain’s working memory so they can focus on the subject at hand.
6- Practice is the key:
Make it clear from the start that success will not come easily. While completing the techniques outlined above may yield some immediate effects, it is unlikely that a kid would move from math anxiety to math champion overnight.
Over time, it will require a lot of practice and hard effort, and it may even be a stride forward, two steps back at times. However, with effort, attention, and kindness in your approach, you may assist your kids to overcome math phobia in the long run.
7- Rewarding success:
When you notice a student learning something new or making a jump in their mathematical comprehension it is critical to acknowledge and celebrate that success. This is essential for instilling confidence, which can lead to improved performance. Similarly, to how math fear develops a painful downward spiral, math confidence builds an upward trajectory step by step.
8- Keep the end goal in mind:
Knowing that you can assist a kid overcome math fear is encouraging in principle, but it may be disappointing if you don’t see immediate results.
At moments like these, it’s critical to remember the final aim and your position as an educator. It’s not simple, but it’s tremendously satisfying when you start to see the long-term effects of your efforts. So, keep your eye on the prize and keep up the excellent job!
College math is difficult and complicated. Without a doubt, it frequently makes individuals feel foolish or incompetent. Math, especially college math, is one of those disciplines that may be made more approachable by learning a few easy strategies.
It doesn’t have to be difficult, confusing, or frightening; the math you learn in high school will probably transfer to college.
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