Mistrz Witold

From the blog

BAD AT MATHEMATICS OR SIMPLY FEAR IT – LEARNING MATHEMATICS

Mathematics is a subject that is included in every single syllabus around the world; it is also for some students the most dreaded and toughest subject. It is sometimes so tough that even teachers who don’t work in the math field, find some difficulties. The reason for such an issue is trauma. In recent times there are a large number of people who find that they are unable to success in mathematics. Some cases where there may be mathematical trauma is when you panic in a timed maths test or struggle to pass through a topic such as algebra or fractions.

The Plague of Math Trauma

Although maths is usually easy to grasp once you have the concepts, there are some who fear it. Mathematical trauma usually manifests or surfaces as some anxiety or dread for being wrong. The fear of being wrong has limited many individuals’ access to career choices and life paths. However, while it is tough to find out which reason is exactly behind math trauma, it is likely that teachers and parents can influence it directly. Studies have shown that students and individuals who aren’t able to pass a timed math test are usually plagued by fear. The fear shuts down working memory, making it impossible to think and cements the idea that they are no good at math into the individual’s head.

Some may find that if they can pass a timed maths test successfully, they are capable enough to handle anything. Once confidence kicks in, it leads the individual to believe that merely being fast and calculating answers quickly means that they are advanced in math. Students who find math to be difficult and challenging have a great fear of revealing their weakness in mathematics. Admitting that they are slow and incompetent in learning and solving mathematical problems, makes individuals shy away or not participate in more challenging work.

How to Recover from Math Trauma

Studies show that the first step to learning to understand topics in mathematics more is to know how arithmetic operations work. Fluency in math depends on how much you know the basics. Ensuring that the person understands the problem instead of memorizing it is essential as it will be harder for it to be forgotten.

Parents can help their child recover from math trauma by merely playing games that coax the child into participating. Playing number and thinking games such as Sudoku are perfect as they can help with fact fluency and cognitive thinking. Making sure to ask the child about how they solved the problem is also important as it validates the importance of their ideas. Don’t think of mistakes as incorrect, instead look at them as ways to explore the issue and solve it. Schools are now a lot more different than they were before, as they now focus more on the understanding and application of math rather than the speed and accuracy that one can achieve. When recovering from math trauma students should be wary about giving and earning negative messages about their ability in maths. The right or wrong messages affect their ability to learn mathematics.