Thursday, 22 November 2012


There have several Q&A can assist you to understand about the Mathematic anxiety.

1.    What is it Mathematic Anxiety?

According to Tobias (1978), mathematics anxiety has been defined as feelings of tension and anxiety that interfere with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situations. It can be considered a phobic response, in that the person avoids math and avoids situations where such aspects might be encountered, and feels anxious when such situations cannot be avoided. It interferes with a person’s ability to learn mathematics and therefore results in an intellectual problem.

2.    When has it happen?
According to Lazarus (1974), mathematics anxiety results from poor instruction and poorly designed mathematics curricula. Poor spatial skills also make mathematical comprehension difficult for many people. Besides that, Brush (1976) said that mathematics anxiety arises from a climate in which negative attitudes and anxiety are transmitted from adults to children. Either parent, teacher or both. From the research of Puteh (1998), it was found that the causes of mathematics anxiety were related to :
·         Teacher personality and their style of teaching.
·         Public examinations and their effect
·         Affective domain, such as personality and perception.
·         Feelings, worries, difficulties.
·         Parental expectations.
·         Peer group influences.
·         The usage of mathematics in everyday life.

3.    Who has it?

Students who have the below characteristics is consider to facing Mathematics Anxiety :
·         Low confidence.
·         Easily giving-up
·         Self blaming for the poor mathematics performance
·         Dislikes of being challenged.
·         Slow learner and low self esteem.
·         Avoid themselves to do mathematics.

4.    When does it occur?
Mathematic anxiety occur when a person has a sign such as sweating, panic, queasy stomach, fear, clenched fists, cold sweat, helplessness, tension, distress, dry mouth, unpleasant, tremor, heart palpitation and breathing and difficulty. Mathematic avoidance can be caused by the fear experienced from contact with Mathematics activity.

5.    Who create it?
The creators can be teacher and parent of student. The teacher-student relationship seemed to have affected their attitudes negatively.
i.              They fear to asking teacher when they don’t know how to solve the mathematics problem. They feel shy when ask. As a result, they keep silent and let their brain blank for the question.

ii.            Teacher blaming student for not understanding. It was create a barriers between teacher and student relationship.

iii.           Teacher ridiculing students.

iv.           Teacher’ strictness and fierceness. It will cause student think negative towards mathematic.

v.            The use of threats and force by teacher.

vi.           Teacher not showing interest in their student.

6.    How do you reduce it?

There are several ways to reduces tension towards Mathematics Anxiety:
1.   Play the leading role in promoting best practices by setting the tone for the school with teachers, students, and parents;
2.   Distribute copies of the NCTM standards and any other pertinent local, state or regional standards documents in order to educate the principal and his/her staff;
3.   Hold Family Math Nights to educate parents;
4.   Include in the budget monies for professional development;
5.   Encourage the use of math manipulative and supplies;
6.   Encourage teachers to use a variety of assessment methods;
7.   Encourage teachers to share and network with each other regarding ideas that work for them, as well as provide in-service workshops for colleagues.

7.    How do you eliminated it?
Here are some ways we can help our students avoid stress about math.

i.                     Play math games. Whether you play math games online, get out some number-centric board games such as Monopoly or Double Shutter, or use some common kitchen items to play with numbers, playing games that are math and numbers oriented is an excellent way to make math fun and get children interesting in doing math.

ii.                   Be aware of your own attitude toward math. Have you ever said things such as, “I’m not good at math,” or “I just don’t like math”? If so, consider changing your attitude, or at least not voicing such negative ideas about math out loud. Your child is watching and learning from you, and if you express negative feelings about math rather than talk about the fun and important aspects of math, then you are doing your child a disservice.

iii.                  Help student shake off mistakes. One of the best things you can do as you help them develop math skills and learn other academic and life lessons is to assure him that mistakes are something that will happen and that they are learning opportunities. If you can help them put math mistakes into perspective and reminds him that they are what will ultimately help him learn, your child will be less likely to develop anxiety about math.

iv.                 Ditch the idea that some people are not good at math. This is a particularly important message for girls, who may pick up the misconception prevalent in the world today that boys are better at math than girls. While some experts have asserted that a math gender gap no longer exists, other researchers have argued that it does; the reason for those differences are likely complex and varied, including parents’ and educators’ failure to nurture girls’ confidence in math, societal pressure for girls not to succeed in math, and parents’ and teachers’ failure to spot girls’ early struggles with math, which can then worsen over time.

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