We recently had a maths lecture pointing out everybody’s feelings towards maths. What became clear was that there was a theme. Everybody had at some point had a bad experience about maths; that therefore affected their confidence. There is the overall view that a lot of people were ‘bad at maths’ and that was ‘ok’ because everybody is. It makes you wonder where we get this view point from.
In the lecture we pointed out that this opinion started when we were taught maths. So this anxiety from maths came because of the way we were taught. Our lecturer said if we are anxious about something we often teach it the way we were taught; and so the cycle continues.
From further reading (Haylock 2014) I found out even teachers have anxiety about teaching maths. They had the same worries that I have. For example:
- They were frightened of maths
- Often found it frustrating
- Only thought there was one correct answer
- Was told they were bad a maths
- Only remembered things by rote
This made be relived to realize that I was not the only one. So I feel we need to change the way we teach maths. Allow children to understand that its ok it get an answer wrong. What matters most is that you understand the process and not the end result. Overall we should try and make maths fun, so that children look back with happiness and not fear.
Haylock, D. (2014) Mathematics explained for primary teachers. 5th edn. London: Sage Publications