Math Anxiety by Deb Russell at About.com.
Where Does Math Anxiety Come From?
“Usually math anxiety stems from unpleasant experiences in mathematics. Typically math phobics have had math presented in such a fashion that it led to limited understanding. Unfortunately, math anxiety is often due to poor teaching and poor experiences in math which typically leads to math anxiety. Many of the students I’ve encountered with math anxiety have demonstrated an over reliance on procedures in math as opposed to actually understanding the math.”
The above statement seems to have been written just for me. I don’t do math.
How is it there are a multitude of ways to get kids to read but there seems no one has explored diverse methods to bring kids into the understanding of math?
I have always accepted an “either /or” philosophy. Either one is creative or they can do math. Those who explore the “word world” draw on a different part of the brain from “number” people.
That thinking cannot be correct. People are capable of overcoming strokes, they must be capable of understanding math and the Arts. Leonardo Da Vinci serves as the perfect example of the human ability for excellence in both areas.
Our nation’s children are failing to keep up with students all over the world. The lack of math “understanding” seems to be the most prominent reason.
I wanted very badly to become a scientist, in my early days, and gave up on that dream due to an egregious lack of math ability. Now in adulthood, I can call it a phobia. My mind draws a blank when numbers come into play. Funny thing, I excelled in geometry. It was a visually based subject with more “memorized procedures” involved. Seems to make the case about math anxiety even stronger, doesn’t it?
I’d love to offer more math related activities to my granddaughter but not knowing the “stepping stones” toward understanding math myself, makes me a poor teacher. I believe I will research new methods. Any suggestions from others will be gratefully accepted. Now I understand how frustrated parents/grandparents, who speak a language other than English, must feel when asked about English composition by their kids.
You know? With good material, I may just start over and learn along with Katherine. Life’s too short to accept any “blanks”. 🙂