Math Anxiety

6 November 2009
Math Test Anxiety Workshop
Senior Hall
Nov. 3rd, 2009 This workshop I attended was very helpful to me. It was educational in helping the student audience learn the techniques to help them take math tests with ease. The instructive objective was to teach students the best way to relieve themselves from the learned response of becoming nervous when it comes to math testing. Lisa Olson (the presenter) who works for the Counseling and Psychological Services department began with a PowerPoint that defined terms/showed facts, and ended with relaxation exercises. It was an organized and informative workshop.
The key to rid of anxiety is relaxation. Math anxiety is a learned response and some physical and mental symptoms are: sweaty palms, increased heart rate, butterflies, muscle tension, headache, dry mouth, panic, difficulty concentrating, incoherent thinking, and the inability to recall previously learned information. The development of math anxiety forms from embarrassments ranges from fear of public speaking to the fear of being teased. Some negative life experiences that can become associated with math anxiety are divorce, illness (self or family member), difficult home situation or death of an important person. Another cause of math anxiety is social pressures. A competitive environment, friends comments or even family expectations can be effective. In addition to social pressures, students can develop math anxiety from a school environment. A poor curriculum, textbooks and materials that are incompatible with students learning styles, inadequate preparatory gaps in course or even unit sequencing that is too fast of a pace as well as poor teaching methods.
In learning about the causes of math anxiety, I also learned that there are math myths. One math myth is that a person is either born to be good at math, or they’re not. Two other myths are: in order to excel in math, a person has to arrive at solutions in their head and…