How to Make Students Love Maths?

Sarika Rana updated on : 19 Dec 2016

Do you get goose bumps thinking about your maths exam the other day? Do you shudder when your peers discuss about the paper? Fear of maths can be unimaginable; hence, we tell you some tips and tricks to make you love this subject!

How to make students fall in love with maths?

‘Maths’, the word itself is enough to make any student nervous. Almost every one of us has suffered from ‘Maths Phobia’ and no matter what, the fear remains even as we grow up.

Unlike the ones who have conquered the fear of Maths, there have been some unfortunate ones who have succumbed to their fear and could not maximize their full potential in a career. As children at some point in our lives, we may have wanted to be a pilot, an astronaut, join the army or be an architect but as we grew up and realized the pre-requisite of having good scores in maths become a deterrent in pursuing our long harbored dreams.

“I scored 72 out of 100 in English Literature in my mid terms but could manage only 40 in Maths. It is not the first time that my overall grades have dropped just because of Maths. I am worried that it might affect my grades in finals as well,” shares 11th standard student Dhruv Kumar from DPS Delhi.

As per an independent research conducted by MyEdge, a Social E Learning Platform connecting Teachers, Parents and Students, around 35% of students in Delhi, NCR region are suffering from Maths Phobia; and during the 2016 mid-term examinations, mathematics emerged as the weakest subject for at least 59% of the students across Delhi, NCR educational institutions.

Fear of Maths is not rare, in fact, it is a global phenomenon. Millions of students worldwide suffer from the Maths Phobia, which hinders their pedagogic growth and leaves them depressed, helpless and weak. There have been many cases where a bright student excelled in other subjects in examinations but flunked in Mathematics and this can take a huge toll on self-confidence of the child.

Mark H. Ashcraft, Chairperson of the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas defines ‘math anxiety’ as "a feeling of tension, apprehension, or fear that interferes with math performance. Unfortunately, with an undue pressure on our students to perform better, most of them tend to suffer from this phenomenon.”

For many of us Maths has been a foreign language that is impossible to interpret but with the help of our teachers, parents and mentors, eventually, we overcome this phobia.

As Prachi S Vaish, a clinical psychologist and a psychotherapist adds, “Numerical ability is usually average in most children and is a little more difficult to grasp than other subjects because it requires abstract imagination and thinking of figures in the air. The most basic trick that can help drive the fear of maths from children is practice, practice, practice!”

Here are a few solutions that will help you get through your fears of maths and will make you fall in love with the subject-

  1. Get Back to the Basics: Unclear knowledge of the basics is the root cause of Maths Phobia. Master the basics first, no matter how much time it may take.
  2. Take Regular Breaks: it is advisable to take frequent breaks during the study time at home; in fact, sports of some physical activity during that break would be ideal.
  3. Seed Maths (silently) in your Life: Every aspect of our life involves some sort of Mathematics, be it sports (scorekeeping and stats), grocery shopping (making budget) or cooking (determining ratio and proportions). The trick is to silently involve yourself in these daily life activities. Mental maths is important to keep your brain active and sharp at the same time.
  4. Avoid comparing results: Every student is different and to compare yourself with others is just not right. Your only competition should be with you, and not with anyone else. While comparing, our morale gets hurt, which can send our dreams of a chosen career come crashing down. 
  5. Find yourself a credible tutor: No matter how much effort we put in developing our Mathematical abilities, the biggest factor that determines the future of the child is a tutor. It is extremely vital us to connect with a tutor because Maths is a complex subject, which involves deep focus. Taking help from a mentor can always build your confidence level and a strong preparation.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that mathematics is not just about numbers, equations, computations and algorithms, it is about learning to befriend the numbers in a completely new way.

Article is written by Vidhu Goyal, Founder, WONK, Tutor booking app

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