The laminated brown cover shrouded fat book is enough to give chills to the person suffering from maths anxiety. It’s an addiction for those who can win over the subject but, poor people who can’t, it’s a nightmare. From the early childhood, the brilliance of the child is decided with the grades of the subject. The fear for maths is sowed in the childhood. More than a priority, scoring cent becomes a necessity and the poor chap who lags is looked like an untouchable. This feeling of low esteem and being looked down upon gives rise to the maths anxiety.
There are various reasons for maths being the supernatural power of the education field, who either makes you successful or a failure. Some of the reasons for it being the source of life long phobia for some are:
- Most of the people around us in the family has an unknown fear for the subject, this fear passes on from one generation to another.
- As it is a logic based subject, one must understand it clearly to crack the problem. There is no scope for mugging up, so either you can be right or wrong, nothing is in between. This understanding of figures create the havoc.
- Peers increase the fear. Most of the time the anxiety is pre-conceptualized, it’s like being influenced by the slander mongering of a person without knowing the person and joining the group to malign the individual.
- Teachers play a vital role in enhancing or reducing the fear. If the teacher is positive, then the positive vibe is passed on to the student. If the teacher himself is full of negativity and irritation, then this creates a great gap between the subject and the pupil and instead of interest, fear bridges the gap.
- The social pressure of securing good marks increases the stress hormone, which diminishes the problem-solving ability and ends up in the disaster. It is very common saying that don’t fear mathematics or it will sit on your shoulder and drag you to disaster.
- Sometimes it is said that mathematics phobia is a kind of genetic behaviour. Due to absence of the numerical genes people tend to create distance from the subject and an unknown fear creeps in.
- Active learners ask critical questions, some teachers tend to be hostile because they find it difficult to answer. This breaches the interest-bridge between the pupil and the subject and fear is instilled in the mind of the leaner. Nipping the interest in the bud.
- People try to mug up the formulas and steps without understanding. During the time of execution, they tend to forget and all confidence of learning ends up in boomerang. This makes the subject fearful.
- Due to monotonous way of teaching, it’s very difficult for the maths learner who’s already suffering from anxiety to grasp the subject. Due to which the problem-solving capability reduces with each passing day and the ignorance is over powered by fear.
- The fear most of the time remains unattained and increases with each passing moment and prepares the individual to pass it on to the next generation.
“People are very happy to say they don’t like math,” said Sian L. Beilock, a University of Chicago psychology professor and the author of “Choke,” a 2010 book on brain responses to performance pressure. “No one walks around bragging that they can’t read, but it’s perfectly socially acceptable to say you don’t like math.”
In all the cases, parents and teachers should take an active part to make maths and other anxiety easy and accessible for students.