FROM FEAR TO LOVE
Math has an image problem. The love of it is enjoyed by some, while most of the time it is seen as dreary and difficult; thus feared or hated.
I often hear this remark, “I hate Mathematics”. As this negative thought form creeps in the minds, it prevents growth in the field. Learning through fear never works. However, we cannot deny the fact that Mathematics is the cradle of all creations. It is a significant part of our daily routine. The fear of it, while undeniably knowing its relevance, is a problem we need to confront and solve in the early stage of a child’s development.
According to a hand out by Professor Jo Boaler, here are several steps to transform fear of Math to eventually loving it.
1.Encourage children to play math puzzles and games. We all know that children enjoy playing games. According to an article by Davies (1995) Games provide opportunities for building self-concepts and developing positive attitudes towards Mathematics, through reducing the fear of failure and error.
2.Focus on logic, not right or wrong. Do not achieve perfection. Give importance on the process of getting the answer than getting the correct one.
3.Never associate Math with speed. Forcing a child to finish a worksheet or problem within a set time will only make him more anxious. Mastering logic is more important than working quickly through problems.
4.Never share with your children the idea that you were bad in Math subject at school or you dislike it. This will only start a negative feeling towards the subject.
5.Encourage number sense. Explain your own strategy without forcing it to a child. Let the child discover one or two ways to get the answer.
6.Encourage a “growth mind-set”. Set the child’s mind that learning Mathematics is great fun and beneficial. Let the children know that they have unlimited math potential and that being good in numbers is all about working hard.
Nobody is born good or bad in Mathematical ability. Everything is a product of love in the process of studying it. There’s no such thing as a math genius. Instead, a person must combine his/ her effort and knowledge practicing math skill in order to excel. Anyone who has done poorly in math can master and love it with enough effort and per sever ance.
— oOo— The author is Head Teacher 1 Designate at Camachiles National High School, Division of Mabalacat City