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ERIC Number: ED426734
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Mathematics Anxiety and the Underprepared Student.
Godbey, Cathy
This article discusses the symptoms and causes of math anxiety, and preventative measures that teachers can use to alleviate the stress some students experience in mathematics problem solving. Mathematics anxiety is defined as "feelings of tension and anxiety that interfere with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situations." The symptoms of math anxiety can include nausea, a hot tingling feeling, extreme nervousness, an inability to hear the teacher, a tendency to become upset by noises, an inability to concentrate, negative self-talk, a stomach ache, and sweaty palms. Causes of math anxiety may include underpreparedness, school absences, parents perpetuating the myth that math ability is hereditary, and negative past experiences with teachers. The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS) is a 98-item survey, sometimes shortened in length by teachers, which has been used extensively at the college, high-school and middle-school levels as a means of measuring mathematics anxiety. Instructors can improve students' confidence and performance by: (1) being mindful of their students' feelings; (2) introducing humor into the classroom setting; (3) sustaining enthusiasm for the subject matter; and (4) motivating students to change pessimistic learning styles to optimistic ones. The appended Mathematics Anxiety Scale is a ten-question student survey. (Contains 11 references) (AS)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A