Essay Math Anxiety

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The theory of multiple intelligences addresses the different learning styles.

Lessons are presented for visual/spatial, logical/mathematics, musical, body/kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal and verbal/linguistic.

Today, the needs of society require a greater need for mathematics.

Math must be looked upon in a positive light to reduce math anxiety.

Maths anxiety is defined in the research literature as feelings of concern, tension or nervousness that are experienced in combination with maths.[i ] In 2005, researchers in the United States estimated that approximately 20 per cent of the US population were highly maths anxious.[ii] Given the cultural similarities between the US and Australia, we can assume that the percentage would be comparable here.

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Research in education, cognitive psychology and neuroscience shows that anxiety can lead to a drop in maths performance.

By using manipulatives, pictures and symbols to model or represent abstract ideas, the stage is set for young learners to understand the abstractions they represent.

Students enjoy the change from lecture and books and they are more inclined to explore with manipulatives and show greater interest in classwork.

Cooperative groups provide students a chance to exchange ideas, to ask questions freely, to explain to one another, to clarify ideas in meaningful ways and to express feelings about their learning.

These skills acquired at an early age will be greatly beneficial throughout their adult working life.


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