The Phenomenon of Math Anxiety: A Research

661 WordsJan 30, 20183 Pages
Background Galileo is quoted as saying, "The great book of nature can be read only by those who know the language in which it was written. And that language is mathematics," (cited by the University of Minnesota School of Mathematics, n.d.). A university's mathematics department is sure to claim things like, "Mathematics is the most versatile of all the sciences." In spite of this, the negative reactions to mathematics instruction can be extreme. Research shows that, for those with high levels of mathematics-anxiety (HMAs), math is associated with tension, apprehension, and fear," (Lyons & Beilock, 2012). This same research shows that students have associated mathematics with actual physical pain. If math hurts so much, then is it really something that we should be teaching children? Maybe it would be better if educators eliminated math entirely from the curriculum. There would be few who would agree to this line of thinking. Mathematics underlies everything we do; from building strong businesses to building strong bridges. It is hard to imagine a world without math, which is even responsible for helping a land-locked country like Switzerland win a sailing competition (University of Minnesota School of Mathematics, n.d.). Therefore, I would like to focus on a specific area of research in the area of mathematics instruction. If math is causing students to feel pain, how can math instructors make their subject more accessible, and more fun, for all students? To make this
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