KESIMPULAN

Perubahan yang begitu pesat dalam masyarakat dan dunia membuat kurikulum hari ini perlu disesuaikan mengikut peredaran masa. Sehubungan dengan itu perancang kurikulum bertanggungjawab menyemak semula dari masa ke semasa. Pengguguran, perubahan, pertambahan atau penambahbaikan terhadap kurikulum harus dilakukan mengikut peredaran masa, kehendak masyarakat dan kemajuan negara.  Kita hidup dalam masyarakat yang berubah-ubah iaitu pengetahuan baru sentiasa ditemui sementara pengetahuan lama yang dibuktikan kurang tepat diperkemaskini. Masalah pertambahan pengetahuan yang banyak menimbulkan masalah pemilihan apa yang hendak dipelajari serta pertimbangan semula bagaimana pembelajaran harus berlaku. Dengan menyedari bahawa pelajar harus disediakan untuk menyesuaikan diri dengan permintaan masyarakat yang cepat berubah, guru-guru dan perancang kurikulum harus menyemak semula apa yang mereka kemukakan kepada pelajar (Kamaruddin, 1994).

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Tagged

Math Anxiety_1

By: Nik Nur Sajidah Bt Nik Osthman    D20081033179

What is mathematics anxiety?

Math anxiety among college students has risen in the last few years.  Many students avoid mathematics and decide on their program of study based on the math courses needed to complete the degree requirement.  Math anxiety is not an intellectual problem but an emotional problem, which can be overcome. Mathematics anxiety has been 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. It can cause one to forget and lose one’s self-confidence (Tobias, 1978). People who suffer from math anxiety feel that they are not capable of doing any course or activity requiring mathematics. Mathematics anxiety is an emotional rather than intellectual problem. It makes a large number of students’ minds go blank momentarily even when a simple mathematical calculation is called for.

Sweating palms, queasy stomach, panic, fear, clenched fists, cold sweat, helplessness, tension, distress, dry mouth, shame and an inability to cope and so on : these are just a few of the signs of mathematical anxiety (Burton, 1979). Tobias and Weissbrod (1980) defined math anxiety as the panic, helplessness, paralysis, mental disorganization that arise among  some people when they required to solve a mathematical problem.

As conclusion, math anxiety is defined as feeling of anxiety that one cannot perform efficiently in situations that involve the use of mathematics. Although it is mostly associated with academics, it can apply to other aspects of life. Math anxiety is an emotional problem, and it is characterized by intense nervousness before or during math tests. This interferes with a person’s ability to optimally do math problems, thus morphing into an intellectual problem.

Why does it happen?

Evidence suggest that mathematics anxiety results more from the way the subject is presented than from subject itself (Greenwood 1980). In most cases, math anxiety is the result of a previous embarrassing experience or a moment of failure involving mathematics. Significant factors associated to mathematics anxiety such as teacher student relationship, teacher’s style of teaching, examination pressure and parental and peer group influences. Many interrelated factors contributed to the formation of mathematics anxiety and especially among teacher trainees is not uncommon as previous studies have already indicated (Haylock, 1995). Lazarus (1974) argued that mathematics anxiety results from poor instruction and poorly designed mathematics curricula. It is related to the abstract nature of mathematics (Burton, 1976; Brush, 1981; Fergusom, 1986). Poor spatial skills (Tobias, 1976) make mathematical comprehension difficult for many people.

Bush (1991) commented that mathematics anxiety arises from a climate in which negative attitudes and anxiety are transmitted from adults to children. Mc Millan (1976) found that teachers’ attitude and enthusiasm toward a subject had greater impact on student attitudes than did instructional variables. More specifically, teachers with mathematics anxiety transmit their anxiety to their students (Kelly and Tomhave, 1985; Bulman and Young, 1982 and Lazarus, 1974). Furthermore, Lazarus (1974) and Wilhelm and Brooks (1980) added that negative parental attitudes may be transmitted to their children and that parents often reinforce their children’s mathematics anxiety. Mathematics anxiety obviously develops in some persons during the early years of schooling (Busha, 1991). From research that was conducted (Puteh, 1998), it was found that the causes of mathematics anxiety related to teacher personality and their style of teaching, public examinations and their effect, affective domain, feelings, worries, difficulties, parental expectations, peer group influences and relevance – the usage of mathematics in everyday life.

Who has it?

Math anxiety is a phenomenon that is often considered when examining students’ problems in mathematics. A study by Betz (1978) suggests that mathematics anxiety is a problem for many college students, including even those in advanced mathematics.

In this book, it reveals the anxiety that primary teacher trainees in Malaysia felt regarding mathematics. Another study done by English (1989) on in-service teachers reveals that teachers exhibiting higher mathematics anxiety levels were more likely to be female, more likely to have a lower attitude toward mathematics, less likely to have performed well in mathematics course, more likely to have completed fewer grades  and less likely to have felt competent in teaching mathematics. Primary school teachers are often found to suffer most acutely from mathematics anxiety (Briggs, 1993; Briggs and Crook, 1991).

 

When does it occur?

Students confronted with a difficult mathematical task on which they are to be assessed may feel nervous and show signs such as tremor in the limbs and sweating of hands. A student may, for a variety of reasons, develop an emotional and intellectual block towards the learning of mathematics in the course of his school years. Lazarus (1974) describe that a student who has developed an emotional and intellectual block against mathematics finds that making progress in mathematics and closely related fields is very difficult. If student became over-anxious when he or she did not fully understand some part of the mathematics lesson, they would make greater effort to comprehend. Such a student actively turns away from mathematics and rapidly develops a fatalistic attitude about mathematics, fully expecting to do badly.

There are many reasons why enhancing the awareness of mathematics anxiety among teachers and especially teacher trainees. First, the teacher’s attitudes and their enthusiasm toward a subject have a great impact on students’ attitudes (Ernest, 1991). Hence a teacher who is in love with a subject tends to infect students with a similar enthusiasm, whereas a teacher who hates and fears mathematics will influence students negatively. Passing on negative attitudes towards this important field of knowledge is potentially harmful. Factors that had contribute to the feelings of anxiety towards mathematics among teacher trainee in Malaysia and then affect their current response to mathematics and their further endeavour as teacher.

What/who create it?

Mathematics anxiety can be related to attitudes of parents, teachers or other people in the learning environment. It also happened because of some specific incident in a student’s math history which was frightening or embarrassing. Students’ existing attitudes toward mathematics came mainly from:

  • The experience of learning mathematics;
  • The teachers’ personality and style of teaching;
  • The system and examination pressure;
  • Parental and peer group pressure.

How do you reduce it?

Mathematics anxiety should be reducing among teacher/teacher trainees first. As teacher we need to change our individual beliefs and the teaching and learning of mathematics because beliefs are a major affective component in individuals’ systems of learning. In particular, Underhill (1988) discussed the beliefs concerning motivation and self, which are inseparable in the teaching and learning area.

            Lack of practice seems to be the main factor contributing to the trainees’ poor performance in mathematics. This lack of practice was further associated with the next section which is laziness. Laziness was indicated by the trainees to be the other main reason for their performance. So, avoid being lazy and done lots of practice. Solving a mathematics problem or learning from a teacher requires concentration, clear thinking and paying close attention to what is written or said. Students enjoy the change from lecture and books and they are more inclined to explore with manipulative and show greater interest in class work.

We as teacher should help our students’ by changes their perceptions of mathematics and mathematics learning in problem solving strategies. Hence, if students perceive mathematics as a set of prescribed procedures, they will be perplexed and confused by tasks for which set methods will not suffice (Underhill, p.63, 1998). Too much traditional model of teaching should be avoided as knowledge transmission does very little to take advantage of learners’ motivations in this sense; further, there is little perceived connection  between mathematics as it is taught and a learner’s sense of viability.

Teachers who are teaching in the primary schools have to specialize in any subject matter. Not only expected to teach all subjects including mathematics as there is a general feeling that teaching in the primary is easy task. Furthermore, teachers should not contribute to negative feelings among her/his students because all of the students in this research agreed that their teachers seem to be a vital factor in determining their experiences in the learning mathematics. Positively or negatively, it is undeniable that they all agreed that their teachers played their part in creating the feelings that they have towards mathematics.

Calling upon student to give their answer on public/blackboard should be avoided because students feel nervous and anxious if we as teacher call them to perform a mathematical task. Students feel that their failure to perform the mathematical task in public reflected on them personally.

As conclusion, learning strategies including seeking assistance from tutor or instructors, peer support groups, completing the assigned homework, having extra studying time for mathematics, looking for additional learning resources, asking questions in class, using relaxation techniques and having positive self beliefs helped in reducing mathematics anxiety.

How do you eliminate?

The situation is highly complex, but to put it in simple terms, a change of attitude towards mathematics in primary teacher trainees is what is basically is needed. This means a change in the predisposition to various perceptions, feelings or behaviors towards the subject. If this is to happen, the cycle that already exists in students and especially teachers trainees, must be broken. An intervention that aims specially at helping trainees to identify and then modify and reduce their mathematics anxiety must be introduced in the process of training these teacher trainees in training colleges. The mere fact of admitting to its existence is already the road to rectifying it (Mitchell and Collins, 1991)

Reference

Tagged

Math Anxiety_2

By: Norfazliza Bt Ramli

What is mathematics anxiety?

Kebimbangan ataupun fobia terhadap matematik merupakan satu fenomena dimana sesorang itu merasa takut akan matematik. Mereka merasa tertekan apabila terlibat dalam manipulasi nombor ataupun apabila melibatkan sesuatu pengiraan matematik. Seseorang yang mengalami fobia matematik merasakan diri mereka tidak mampu untuk melakukan aktiviti yang melibatkan matematik. Perasaan yang mereka alami ini akan bukan hanya mengganggu emosi, tetapi juga mengganggu kepintaran mereka terhadap matematik.

Why does it happen?

Menurut Lazarus (1974) seseorang pelajar akan mengalami satu situasi fobia matematik apabila mereka mencapai satu tahap pencapaian matematik yang mereka yang mana ianya melampaui tahap yang paling sukar. Apabila mereka mencapai tahap itu, mereka akan mula berhenti untuk belajar matematik.

Jika dilihat fobia matematik yang terdapat pada seorang guru pelatih, ianya berlaku disebabkan oleh kelemahan arahan yang diterima serta kandungan kurikulum yang ada. Kekurangan McMillan (1976) menemui bahawa sikap guru serta minat terhadap subjek matematik mempunyai impak yang besar terhadap sikap pelajar daripada kaedah mengajarnya. Secara amnya, guru dengan fobia matematik yang tinggi secara tidak langsung akan ‘menyalurkan’ fobia mereka kepada pelajar-pelajar.

Bmenurut Lazarus (1974) dan Wilhelmdan Brooks (1980), sikap negatif ibubapa juga turut menjadi penyumbang terhadap anak-anak mereka dan sikap ini juga menambahkan lagi fobia anak-anak mereka terhadap matematik.

Antara punca-punca lain yang menyebabkan fobia matematik ialah pesonaliti serta gaya pengajaran yang dimiliki oleh seseorang guru, peperiksaan awan dan kesannya terhadap mereka, faktor diri sendiri iaitu penerimaannya terhadap subjek matematik, perasaan risau akan kesusahan, pengharapan daripada ibubapa, pengaruh dari rakan sebaya serta penggunaan matematik dalam kehidupan seharian juga turut menjadi punca berlakunya fobia matematik.

Who has it?

Guru pelatih, ibubapa serta pelajar yang percaya bahawa diri mereka tidak mampu untuk berhadapan dengan matematik dan tidak mampu untuk menyelesaikan masalah melibatkan pengiraan.

When does it occur?

Fobia matematik berlaku apabila seseorang itu percaya atau setkan mindanya bahawa mereka tidak mampu dalam bidang matematik, maka mereka akan sentiasa dalam keadaan fobia apabila melibatkan pengiraan matematik.

Perkara asas yang berlakunya fobia ialah sikap kita, sentiasa memikirkan matematik itu susah. Kemudian ianya akan menjadikan kita bersangka yang apabila kita tidak mampu menyelesaikan masalah matematik, kita akan ditertawa oleh orang sekeliling. Perkara-perkara ini yang menjadikan seseorang itu semakin fobia terhadap matematik. Apabila kita menjadi terlambau ‘takutkan’ matematik, secra tidak langsung minda kita tidak mampu untuk berfikir unutk menyelesaikan masalah yang diberi, walaupun masalah itu terlalu senang.

Who/what  created it?

Diri sendiri yang menciptakan perassan takut itu. Pemikiran negatif ataupun ‘self-talk’ yang diciptakan minda seseorang akan menghasilkan tindakan emosi yang negatif.

How do you reduce it?

Sesetengah orang, mereka mengambil jalan mudah iaitu dengan menghindarkan diri dari segala keadaan yang melibatkan matematik. Tetapi tanpa disedari, perkara yang dilakukan ini menybabkan mereka akan sentiasa berada dalam situasi dimana akan menguatkan lagi kepercayaan mereka tidak pernah mampu. Dan setiap kali mereka mengelak dari bidang matematik, bermaksud mereka akan terus kekurang ilmu dalam bidang ini.

Jika dilihat dari penyebab peperiksaan, suatu perubahan perlu dilakukan pada pemarkahan sesuatu peperiksaan supaya menjadikan mampu meminimumkan impak tersebut. Sebagai contoh, perubahan terhadap pengagihan peratusan peperiksaan bertulis dan penilaian berterusan menjadi 50-50. Dari sudut rakan sebaya pula, sebagai seseorang yang rapat dengan mereka yang ‘takutkan’ matematik, kita seharusnya membantu mereka menyelesaikan kerja rumah serta membantu mereka untuk lebih memahami  masalah matematik yang mereka pernah pelajari.

How do you eliminate it?

Bagi guru pelatih yang mengalami fobia matematik, dicadangkan mereka menyelesaikan dahulu masalah-masalh matematik yang ingin diberikan kepada pelajar dan alami terlebih dahulu tahap kesukaran soalan tersebut. Ini akan dapat memastikan bahawa mereke telah bersedia dan cukup yakin untuk menjawab segala pertanyaan daripada para pelajar itu nanti. Para guru ini juga perlukan kepercayaan daripada pelajar untuk mencapai tahap keyakinan yang tinggi dan salah satu daripada caranya ialah dengan kebolehan menjawab segala persoalan aripad pelajar.

Sebagai seorang guru dan seorang rakan terdekat bagi mereka yang mengalami fobia matematik ini, bimbingan dan sokongan terhadap subjek matematik amat la penting bagi menghilangkan fobia mereka.

Jadi, perkara utama yang perlu dilakukan untuk menghilangkan fobia terhadap matematik ialah dengan mengubah sikap kita terhadap bidang matematik itu sendiri. Jangan terlalu memikirkan bahawa matematik itu susah. Jangan terlalu memikirkan kita tidak mampu menyelasikan masalah-masalah yang melibatkan pengiraan matematik.

Tagged

Math Anxiety_3

By: Nur Izzaty Bt Mohd Murad    D20081033175

What is the mathematics anxiety?

Mathematics anxiety 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.  Mathematics anxiety can cause one to forget and lose one’s self confidence (Tobias, 1978).  People who suffer from mathematics anxiety feel that they are incapable of doing activities and classes that involve mathematics.  Some mathematics anxious people even have a fear of mathematics or mathematics phobia.

Mathematics anxiety also called mathophobia or we also can call whatever we want to call.  It makes a large number of students’ minds go blank momentarily even when a simple calculation is needed.  Sweating palms, queasy stomach, panic, fear, clenched fists, cold sweat, helplessness, tension, distress, dry mouth, shame and inability to cope and so on are a few of the signs of mathematical anxiety (Burton, 1979).  When confronted with any mathematical situation both physically and psychologically these are the feelings.

Anxiety is manifested physiologically, phenomenologically, and behaviourally.  Students confronted with a difficult mathematical task on which they are to be assessed may feel nervous and show signs such as tremor in the limbs and sweating of hands.  They may have great difficulty in marshalling their thoughts and feel restless and tense.  They may not be able to relax or sit in their chair for long and they may engage in behaviours such as pacing around the room.

According to Spielberg (1966), it was Cattell and Scheier (1961) who identified the two distinct anxiety factors which they labelled state anxiety and trait anxiety using factor analytic studies.  Mathematics anxiety can be seen as having both these aspects.  Lazarus (1974) described mathematics anxiety, which he called mathophobia as irrational dread of mathematics.  He said mathophobia can seriously impair a student’s mathematical performance through a vicious cycle of worsening attitude towards the subject.

Why does it happen?

There are a lot of factors contribute to mathematics anxiety.  Lazarus (1974) argued that mathematics anxiety results from poor instruction and poorly designed mathematics curricula.  It is related to the abstract nature of mathematics (Burton, 1979); Brush, 1981; Ferguson, 1986).  Poor spatial skills (Tobias, 1976) make mathematical comprehension difficult for many people.

From the affective perspective, Bush (1991) commented that mathematics anxiety arises from a climate in which negative attitudes and anxiety are transmitted from adults to children.  McMillan (1976) found that teachers’ attitude and enthusiasm toward a subject had greater impact on student attitudes than instructional variables.  Teachers with mathematics anxiety transmit their anxiety to their students (Kelly and Tomhave, 1985; Bulman and Young, 1982 and Lazarus, 1974)

Lazarus (1974) and Wilhelm and Brooks (1980) added that negative parental attitudes may be transmitted to their children and that parents often reinforce their children’s mathematics anxiety.

From the research that was conducted (Puteh, 1998), it was found that the causes of mathematics anxiety were related to teacher personality and their style of teaching, public examinations and their effect, affective domain such as the self factor, feelings, worries and difficulties, parental expectations, peer group influences and the relevance of study mathematics.

Who has it?

Mathematics anxiety mostly suffered by students.  Lazarus (1974) stated that at one point or another during their education, any students is likely to acquire mathophobia.  This could happen because the students could have reached some level in their mathematical training beyond which they found progress extremely difficult.  After reaching this point, student would be likely to stop studying mathematics.  If it became necessary to take more mathematics, both the necessity and the mathematics could become sources of anxiety.  Mathematics anxiety is considered to be a common characteristic among many students and adults (Buxton, 1981).

A study by Betz (1978) suggests that mathematics anxiety is a problem for many college students, including even those in advanced mathematics classes, whose majors require an extensive background in mathematics.

Besides that teachers also encounter mathematics anxiety.  Primary teachers are often found to suffer most acutely from mathematics anxiety (Briggs, 1993; Briggs and Crook, 1991), possibly because of the lack of a firm foundation in mathematics, coupled with the nature of the subject itself.  In this book said that teachers’ trainees also suffer from mathematics anxiety.

When does it occur?

From this research, mathematics anxiety occurs mostly when teachers’ trainees will take on examinations.  National examinations or just the monthly test are also another major component that seems to have contributed to anxiousness towards mathematics.  Sitting for National Examinations or basically just sitting for any examination triggers a lot of anxiety in these trainees.  Their past experience of failure in the subject acts as a stimulus to disable them from performing well.  Words such as mathematics test or examinations, mathematics questions or even just mathematics itself trigger anxiousness for these trainees as for many of them their past experiences of failure controlled their response towards it.

Mathematics anxiety also occurs when teachers call their students to the blackboard to perform a mathematical task.  This might have unintentionally done to make the students feel nervous and anxious.  They fear of making mistakes in front of the class.  They felt that their failure to perform the mathematical task in public reflected on them personally.

Many students from data above said that over and over again they are stricken with panic when confronted with a situation involving the performance in mathematics, particularly when others are watching.  These situations may seem to be non-threatening.  But yet, when faced with particular mathematics situations they are often victimized by panic and act inappropriately.  Many said that they could not bear the thought of how stupid they might look if they were unable to solve the questions.

Who or What create it?

Mathematics anxiety created by :

i.         Teacher-student relationship

The mathematical progress of many trainees was clearly undermined by their teacher’s way of handling them in classroom.  From this research almost every other trainee who was interviewed said they would not request help from their teachers when they needed it.  It is simply because they fear of asking for help and they feel shy because they do not know how to solve the mathematics problems.

Besides that, the fear of being blamed by their teachers seemed to be a recurring theme in the trainees’ responses.  This situation created a barrier between the teacher and the student relationship.  The way teachers ridiculed the students also seemed to play an important role in this relationship.

Many expressed their fear of strict and fierce teachers and associated this phenomenon with negative feelings towards mathematics. Even more serious teacher using threats to force their students in mathematics.

Lastly a number of trainees expressed their frustration when they sensed that their teachers did not bother or showed interested in teaching them.  It was felt especially if their teachers were too preoccupied just teaching from the front and was not at all concerned with the students’ needs.

ii.            Teaching style

The most prominent issue raised by the trainees was that their teachers were using old fashioned way of teaching (Puteh, 2002).  The way of the subject was being taught led the trainees to perceive the subject as having no links to everyday life.  Thus the process creates a dislike for the subject and an anxiety by itself.

iii.            Pressure of examinations

All the teacher trainees that were interviewed seemed to indicate that a good results in their mathematics test or examinations definitely boosted their confidence and acted as a motivator to strive further in the subject.  If the students keep failing in their tests negative feelings and dislike for the subject created.  It can make them feel isolated from their friends an anxious of their future.

A study by Betz (1978) revealed that the level of mathematics anxiety reported was related to scores on a standardized mathematics achievement test.  In other words people with high achievement scores tended to report low mathematics anxiety and vice versa.  The trainees here seemed to confirm that high anxiety about mathematics was predictably liked with poor results in public examinations.

iv.            The family and peer group influences

Most of the trainees seemed to say that encouragement and expectation from family enhance their interest and spirit to success in mathematics.  However too high of an expectation without any practical help can also create anxiety and avoidance towards the subject.

How do you reduce it?

There are a lot of way can be done to reduce mathematics anxiety among people in Malaysia.  Morris (1981) offered several suggestions for overcoming such problems such as :

i.            Minimize or eliminate such tests and replace them by other less threatening forms of assessment

ii.            Refrain from isolating a student at the blackboard but instead request that students work together in small groups co-operatively on problems

iii.            Eliminate show-of-hands competitions and class contests that openly compare one student with another, as many students are particularly distressed by such competitiveness.

In the western culture, where this phenomenon is highly documented helping students to cope with this anxiety has been a major priority.  Hence if this phenomenon is to be minimized or avoided a similar awareness and commitment to tackling the problem must be adopted in Malaysian teacher-training.

Morris (1981) also suggested constructive techniques and strategies for teachers to help prevent math anxiety among students.  Create a positive , supportive classroom atmosphere, stress understanding the thought process, dispel the math mind myth, provide new positive math experiences, use concrete materials to teach content, make sure each concept is understood before continuing, reduce tension and pressure in mathematics classes, give positive feedback on written tests and be sensitive but determined.

It is apparent from the data that positive quality showed by their teachers had tremendous positive impact on these trainees and on their perception of the subject.  Patience, gentleness, caring, encouraging, kind, helpful, guiding, always concerned, giving lots of attention to the student’s individual needs and listening to the students problem regarding mathematics are the qualities which these trainees would like to have seen in their teachers.  Therefore these qualities need to be promoted in mathematics teachers in order to help minimize the anxiety of their students towards the subjects.  The training college where students attained to be teacher is where these qualities should be emphasized and demanded.

How do you eliminate it?

Obviously there is no easy solution to this problem as it is a vicious cycle.  Therefore in order to make the transformation the whole system to be change in order to make progress.  It has to start somewhere and recognizing the root of the problems is a starting point.  So this phenomena needs to be taken seriously.  The training colleges where students are trained to be teachers must be induced into a different mode and style of teaching so that as they do not reproduce the mistakes made by their teachers.  Hence the vicious cycle can only be broken by promoting a different style of teaching which emphasizes understanding and not just memorizing, drill and practice.  Last but not least the aims, methods and content of the mathematics syllabus for these trainees needs to be looked into and revised to enable such changes to take place.

Reference

Tagged

Math Anxiety_4

By: Shahida Salma Bt Yunus    D20081033199

What is Mathematics Anxiety ?

Mathematics anxiety has been 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.  It can cause someone to forget and lose self-confidence.  People with mathematics anxiety are incapable of doing activities and classes that involve mathematics.  Maybe some people that have this mathematics anxiety are also has fear towards mathematics and what we call mathematics phobia.  It is also just an emotional feelings rather than intellectual problem thinking and also interfere with person ability to learn mathematics and give impact in intellectual problem.  Hence when this people suffered from the mathematics anxiety, it will make them to develop hatred towards mathematics and it will cause them not have feelings to study mathematics although actually mathematics is the fun subject to learn.  In my opinion mathematics anxiety is the disease that all people have when involved mathematics calculation although we do not realize it, but this disease is something that we will overcome when we try to handle it.  But if we take is slightly it will become worse to people that have it and it will develop hatred.

Why does it happen ?

Burton, 1979 says that signs on people that have mathematics anxiety are like sweating palms, queasy stomach, panic, fear, clenched fists, cold sweat, helplessness, tension, distress, dry mouth, shame and inability to cope and many more just like other phobia.  Both mental and physical these are the feeling of people that have it when they face the mathematical problem or calculations.  This mathematics anxiety happen when student develop an emotional and intellectual block towards the learning of mathematics in the course of school years.  In this case the attitude of students is the main factor why this mathematics anxiety occurs.  This attitude such as how they look the question of mathematics and when to do the calculation.  Their attitude became worsen when it involved mathematics, it is like this when it happened and after that it will cause fearer towards mathematics.  In my opinion, it also happen when people can’t develop any feeling towards mathematics, when people ignore the basic mathematics concept such as basic calculation that involved plus, mines and so on it can show that people are too dependent and it will lead to hatred in mathematics.

Who has it ?

Based on this book a study by Bets (1978) suggest that mathematics anxiety is a problem for many college students, including even those in advanced mathematics classes, whose majors require an extensive background in mathematics and in this book also it state that many student in school that have this phobia what we call mathematics anxiety.  Teacher trainee that not take mathematics as her/his major also suffers from this disease.  As what I know based on my experienced, this mathematics anxiety is haunted many people not only school students but every level of society although the old people also have experience from mathematics anxiety.  Because mathematics is the basic way of life, you need calculations even you went to market or go to shopping.  Hence I can say mathematics is very important in our live, than when people can do even the simple calculation they will feel fear towards that and it’s the symptom of mathematics anxiety or what people call mathophobia.

When does it occur ?

In the case of primary school teacher, this mathematics anxiety possibly occur when the lack of a firm foundation in mathematics and also wit nature of the subject itself.  It maybe occur when the people can’t cope up with the subject itself and some people also they don’t try to learn this subject but just by hearing others say that mathematics is difficult to learn they just push it away from their live.  From there the anxiety symptom will come out one by o ne and at the last, slowly they will seed hatred towards mathematics in their life.  Based on my experience also I have one friend that really hate mathematics.  She always said mathematics is difficult to learning, can’t memorize the formula and etc.  When we do the exercise she will copy it from others and not try to learn it.  It also occurred when student don’t understand what their teacher explain, sometimes although the problem is small but it will lead to the other problem.  The problems here is teacher, when she/he can’t teach well so don’t expect that student will understand the concept and they also can’t answer the question involving the mathematics.  On the other hand, it also occur when the parents don’t have interest with mathematics and coincidently it will be pass to their children because they always have been tell that mathematics do not important.  Many more reasons why it occur is because teacher personality and their style of teaching, public examinations and their effect if student can’t get A’s in mathematics, the self factor such as personality and perception.  Other than that the most important why that’s occur because the feelings of themselves such as worries, difficult to learn, parental expectations and also their peer influences and also why they have to learn mathematics it’s what they learn in school will been using in real life, that is question that always students ask in their minds but do not let it out so that we can solve it.

Who and What create it ?

In my opinion what can I say who and what create this mathematics anxiety are the people itself.  If they say that they dislike mathematics so what others can do.  We just can try to recover this phobia but if they can’t try to face it the efforts that we make will just be waste.  Furthermore with the other factors such as friend, family, teacher and the mathematics myths and misconception will lead to the worst effect when combined together this factors.  That’s why people will be coincidently born with the hatred towards mathematics.

How do you reduce it ?

Many efforts are made to reduce this phobia that famous among students and what we call it as mathematics anxiety.  It is very importance to dealing with this problem mathematics anxiety, the way that we can reduce it is do the mathematic clinic.  This mathematics clinic we will place one doctor at a few schools to give the best consultancy to student and hear their opinion about mathematics.  By that we can heal this phobia and indirectly make them confident with themselves.  Other than that the program like math without fear can be develop and the authorities also must take part.  If there have an involving from an authorized the program will be success more than just we do it, they can do campaign and announce it at the mass media.  Indirectly it will influence the old people and also children that have not been to school.  Furthermore teacher at school must take the courses such as mathematics anxiety or how to handle phobia towards math among student.  Hence by that they can improve their teaching method and have more skill to handle the anxiety among students.  To reduce this mathematics anxiety many side and people must involve, not just school or teacher but all people in this country if we want to remove it or reduce.  Time will heal everything with effort that we have put.

How do you eliminate it ?

I think it is so difficult to eliminate, we can reduce it but can’t totally eliminate it.  It’s because this mathematics anxiety or mathophobia are involved person feelings.  It so difficult to remove someone feelings but we can reduce it and make them not feared to learn mathematics.  This subject to me is so beautiful and fun, then I hoped other people also can have the same taught and share the same feelings with me and not hatred towards this beautiful subject.

 

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Math Anxiety_5

By : Siti Nur Azila Bt Shafie      D20081033181

 What is mathematics anxiety?

Mathematics anxiety is a feeling or anxiety about one’s ability to do mathematics independent of skill. Mathematics anxiety also been 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 situation.

It could makes students mind goes blank just by seeing numbers or when they were asked to do simple calculation. Symptoms of mathematical anxiety are such as sweating palms, queasy stomach, panic fear, shame, inability to cope and much more.

Why does it happen?

Mathematics anxiety starts with teacher themselves. Briggs and Crook said that primary school teachers are often found to suffer most acutely from mathematics anxiety. This happens when they lack of basic foundation of mathematics. Teacher trainees also have symptoms of mathematics anxiety.

Teachers who love mathematics will have no problem with the subject but when they lack of interest, hates or even fear of mathematics, those traits will influence students negatively.

From the research conducted by Marzita Puteh, there are several causes of mathematics anxiety. First it is related to teacher personality and their style of teaching. Besides that public examination and their effects also lead to mathematics anxiety.  Students also were burden by parent’s expectation and standards they must excel in mathematics if they want to success. It is also related to affective domain or the self factor such as student’s perception of mathematics. Bad experiences lead to bad perception towards mathematics. Feelings and worries also lead to mathematics anxiety since students will have difficulties with their memory and innate disability.

Who has it?

Usually students will have mathematics anxiety and it can be caused from their teacher. So we can say that students and teachers can have mathematical anxiety. Actually in my opinion, anyone can develop those symptoms of mathematics anxiety. These symptom can be developed when a person start attending school and faces difficulties with mathematics. There are several reasons that can cause difficulties with mathematics and those reasons will be discussed in other question. If the person didn’t try to overcome their anxiety, they will still face it until they are older.

When does it occur?

It usually occurred when students have difficulties with mathematics. When they were asks to do, simple mathematics calculation, those with mathematics anxiety will start having symptoms like queasy stomach or sweating palm. They are not confident that they will be able to perform the calculation. They also fears of numbers. When they saw a mathematics question with a lot of number or a bigger figure numbers they start to fears of it. They will have problems to solve it.

What created it?

There are several factors that develop mathematical anxiety. First, it is related to teacher personality and their style of teaching. Each student has their own style and pace when they study. Some can understand the lesson way faster than others but some need explanation few more times before they can fully grasp a new concept. The classroom’s environment here in Malaysia always neglects that factor. Teacher usually speeds up the lesson pace because they want to finish up the syllabus before the year end. Students who have problems don’t have the opportunity to ask teacher to clear their misunderstanding during the class or after the class. So, those who has problem will always perceive mathematics as a difficult subject.

This might be unintentional but teacher does seem play a very large role in this problem. Students are just a young teenager who usually hates being humiliated in front of their friends. However, teacher always indirectly cause it to them. A classic example is by asking them solving mathematics problem in front of the class at the blackboard. Students who are weak in mathematics usually hate this the most. They are not confident that they can solve it correctly and if they are indeed wrong the whole class might laugh at them. All this will lead to mathematics anxiety.

Other than teacher, factors like family and peer group also can influence and caused mathematics anxiety. In parents cases, they either can help students to excel in mathematics by helping and encourage them with positive words or they can create mathematics anxiety in students by pressure them to excel in mathematics without trying to actually help them when they face problems with it. Parents who don’t care about their children poor achievement in mathematics also won’t help them overcome their problem and leads to mathematics anxiety in their child self.

Aiken (1970) said that one possible determiner of attitude towards mathematics is the attitude of one’s peer. Students are easily influenced by others especially by peers. If their peers are not bothering of making effort with mathematics, they will also do the same. When do a group discussion, if there are none of the members who have higher mathematical abilities than others, the group will have problems with solving the questions discussed.

Besides that, since our education system is exam oriented system, students feel great pressure to excel in mathematics since they felt like their future

How do you reduce it?

In my opinion, teacher plays a very large role to reduce mathematics anxiety among students. Since teacher is one of the major factors that caused it, so teacher also should start playing their role rightly. Maybe teacher should start change their way of teachings. Since everyone doesn’t have the same mathematical abilities, teacher should analyze the best way to teach students so that all get the same knowledge without anyone left behind during lessons.

Besides that, teacher should starts identifies those with mathematical anxiety and try to help them to overcome it. Students need encouragement from others to overcome this problem. As a teacher, we should help them to overcome this so that they won’t be affected in a very bad way. Teacher should find a new way to involve weak students in the class activities other than calling them in front solving problems at the blackboard. Maybe teacher should create more cooperative group learning during lesson so that other students can also helps those with mathematics anxiety.

Parents role are different from teacher in this matter. Teacher can only encourage them at school but parents spent almost every day with their child. Positive encouragement needed so that they know that their parents will always support them in their learning process. Parents should know their child achievement at school so that they can monitor if their child have mathematics anxiety. Since not all parents have higher education level, some of them must not realize that mathematics anxiety is one serious problem. So, school or any NGO should start held a campaign to expose them about this problem and show them how they can help their children.

How do you eliminate it?

It’s hard to actually eliminate mathematics anxiety effectively especially in our society. Since it’s like a stereotype the thinking of mathematics are not easy, mathematics are boring, mathematics are just boring calculation and mathematics don’t bring any benefit in our daily life. This type of stereotype must be vanished first if we really want to eliminate it. This way of thinking must be change into more positive thinking first like mathematics is fun, mathematics are easy, and it’s helpful in our daily life. When students realize all this, they will start overcome their hatred towards mathematics, thus they won’t have mathematics anxiety. So teacher should start thinking ways to change students’ negativity toward mathematics so that we can eliminate mathematics anxiety among students.

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