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ERIC Number: EJ1095916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Math Is Like a Scary Movie? Helping Young People Overcome Math Anxiety
Kulkin, Margaret
Afterschool Matters, n23 p28-32 Spr 2016
Afterschool teachers who tutor students or provide homework help have a unique opportunity to help students overcome the social or emotional barriers that so often block learning. They can embrace a creative and investigative approach to math learning. Margaret Kulkin's interest in being a math attitude "myth-buster" led her to apply to a STEM-focused National Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship, an 18-month professional development opportunity offered by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time. During that fellowship, she developed and administered a student survey, developed new student-centered curriculum, and conducted the case studies that inform this article. Her quest was to chip away at the "math is hard" idea to show students that math is accessible to all. Math learning starts early, as children discover quantity and measurement by filling up and pouring out containers, create patterns by drawing pictures, or explore numbers by counting days on a calendar. Teachers need to continue to nurture this math potential, grounded in real-life experience, as children grow older. Kulkin's research with her own students helped her find ways to help them overcome math anxiety by creating learning opportunities based on their interests. She begins this article with a discussion of the origins of math anxiety. She goes on to describe briefly the results of a survey she gave to five of her students, grades 4-6, who struggled with math. Next, two case studies exemplifying how students achieved mastery through problem solving are presented.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A