Math Anxiety and Efficacy Scores

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Students often struggle with the learning of math concepts; a love-hate relationship has existed for decades between math and students as they know they need to understand and have a sound foundation of math skills, yet, they toil to reach a proficiency level and fall short of their goal. This lack of confidence and anxiety in learning math concepts has created a lack of self-efficacy among math learners, which fosters a reduction in a desire to learn and use math skills. As education changes at an increasingly rapid speed not seen before, educators must bring to their students cutting edge best practices and technology to reach learning goals and build interest in needed math areas.
Deficits in math proficiency are a matter of national concern (Beal, Walles, Arroyo, & Woolf, 2007). Students are struggling to pass statewide subject-area tests, reach suitable ACT scores, and/or enter college without enrolling in remediation classes in math. According to the American Institutes for Research, American students score well below comparable students in other countries (Phillips, 2009). Deficiencies in math scores tend to slip as students progress from one grade to the next. This chain of events creates students who select non-based math studies as they enter high school and college which can create real voids in our work force.
Math anxiety hinders students’ mathematics learning, thinking positive about math, and feeling calm. This fear causes low self-esteem,
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