Sharon Noguchi of the Bay Area News Group writes that Math anxiety may not be the students’ fault. Many children learn to hate math, become frustrated, and simply give up. As a teacher, I have seen several students give up before they try largely due to poor classroom experiences and low performance grades from previous school years. However, a small theory that is gaining momentum among math educators is students are not provided the correct way of math instruction causing math anxiety.
Typically, in our current, math classes students are encouraged to memorize facts and perform speed drills. From my experience, speed drills can be extremely intimidated for math students insecure with their math knowledge and ability. Much anxiety exudes from speed drill actives. However, two Stanford professors have developed the concept that students should be presented with more visual and creative math exercises to include discussion of ideas and procedures.
A Child Centered Learning Environment
Each student, ideally, should be offered a child-centered learning environment where they can learn and grow within small groups. Activities that both promote and teach real-life math lessons prove to not only engage the student but prepare them for careers and higher education.
Students, especially female students, when they are placed within small groups they tend to thrive and are less insecure about asking and receiving help in deficient areas. Like all new tasks in life be a sport, learning to play an instrument, or new lessons in math the child needs to practice to succeed. With different teaching delivery methods and the students’ determination, you should see a difference in your child’s overall math achievement.
If you or your child have suffered from math anxiety it very well could have been the approach that was taken to teaching math. Once an anxiety builds you have to take measures to get rid of it. It won't go away on it's own. It's to deeply ingrained into our emotional make up.
This is why one of the things the Learning Success System focuses on is eliminating anxieties. It's critical to success.
Do you or your child have a math anxiety? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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