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ERIC Number: ED174278
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Anxiety Reduction in the Developmental Mathematics Classroom.
Smith, Jean Burr
"Math anxiety" can be a lifelong stumbling block affecting the student's level of performance and willingness to go beyond the minimum courses required, and hindering career change or advancement. The cumulative nature of math learning, early insistence on the right answer with reasonable speed, paranoia that not understanding will result in ridicule, the mystique of the genetically-predisposed mathematical mind, and inability to handle frustration when dealing with math are a few sources of math anxiety. Women are further handicapped by the stereotype that they are unable to excell at math because of their sex. A math anxiety clinic at Wesleyan University helps students reduce anxiety and increase self-confidence. A non-threatening environment is set by an initial interview which examines the student's degree of fear and his or her goals for the future. In class, individual strengths are stressed, and the fact that there is no best way to work a problem is repeatedly demonstrated. Problem-solving in small groups is extensively utilized to make math a social experience. The students evaluate their progress at mid-semester. The final exam is a standardized multiple-choice form to give the students practice for various standardized placement tests. A similar program has been implemented in developmental mathematics classes at Middlesex Community College. (DD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Invitation to Innovation Conference (Wilmington, Delaware, March 29-30, 1979)