Math Anxiety and What You Should’t Do

by Early Math Counts

Over the past few years I have thought a lot about math anxiety.  Before the Early Math Counts project and this blog, I never gave it much thought expect to acknowledge that it is a real thing and it matters.

I wrote about a friend whose life was forever changed by a teacher who told her she was “no good” at math and that one interaction altered the course of her life.  I wrote about how we can battle math anxiety through a variety of techniques and strategies that genuinely work.

Today, I present you with an article from the Washington Post that clearly explains why we need to stop telling children that we are bad at math. Take a look at this article and see how our adult behavior affects children’s performance and attitudes about math.

2 Replies to “Math Anxiety and What You Should’t Do”

  1. I read the linked, Washington Post article, and I saw myself as a child struggling with math because of my inability to comprehend the basic mathematical concepts. I don\’t remember teachers speaking negatively of Math. What I remember most is being lost and confused over the most simplest of concepts. If I had children I would definitely introduce math in a positive way. I would also have a lot teachable moments that involve math suited for their age. My desire is that my child would find math exciting no something to run away from.
    I have made this personal but it became personal when I read the blog and the Washington Post article.

    1. Sometimes the negativity is not overt and explicit. I think the messages can be very subtle and even as small as how classrooms are set up and how time is designated for different activities. The feelings of being \”lost\” are real for both children and adults. We need better ways to help everyone navigate these feelings and move toward more positive ones about math.

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