Why Do We Fear Math?

Written by Samantha Ellingsworth

 

Math is a crucial and necessary subject. This is universally understood, but why is it that so many people avoid it? The answer is fear. The anxiety that math generates within some of us comes from having poor confidence on an academic level. We tend to avoid or ignore subjects that make us uncomfortable.

Avoiding or mentally blocking out a subject makes it difficult to learn and develop our skills, which worsens our anxiety surrounding the subject. This is where practice comes in to help.

Math proficiency involves two main components:

  1. Procedural skills
  2. Conceptual understanding

Learning anything requires a plan, for example, procedure -> concept -> application. If fear or anxiety is the barrier to the learning process, then it is best to seek out why. Often times, it is due to lack of exposure and practice.

Start off slow by reading out a problem and figuring out what is being asked of you (procedure). Then, separate the different parts of the problem (concept). Finally, see if you can think of another way this problem can be applied (application).

For a better understanding, you may visit this wonderful math site.

Math is a challenge, but that does not mean you cannot master it. As long as you keep up with practice, you will build up a familiarity that will increase your overall comfort with the subject. This will help ease your math anxiety. For more information on how to able your math anxiety or your child’s math anxiety, click here.

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