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JOSE MARIA COLLEGE

Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway


Catitipan, Davao City

Math 1
College Algebra
Math Problems

Submitted By:
Aguilar, Rea Mae Dorothy E.
Submitted To:
Mr. Dennis Lazarte

October 2015

Introduction

People, especially students, nowadays cower when math comes up. Some people
get frustrated even with the simplest equations. Even the simplest equations could trigger
the math anxiety present in peoples lives.
The presence of math anxiety in students will unfortunately cause students to be
less competent because math anxious students or people will do their very best to avoid
situations wherein math is involved. Psychologically, math anxious people distance
themselves from situations involving math because they see it as threats or problems.
This research paper aims to give people the information they need to answer the
nagging question why do people have trouble with math? This research aims to do so
because of the increasing number of students and individuals who are incapable of
dealing with situations involving math. It also aims to help people understand why they
have math anxiety and how they can prevent it from happening to their children in the
future. The purpose of this research paper is to inform people and educated them about
math anxiety and possibly helping them reduce it. Another purpose of this research paper
is to guide parents in helping their children to love and learn math better.
Although math is deemed as anxiety worthy, it is still one of the necessities in life.
Though some formulas do not help us know how many eggs we need for breakfast but
the problems we face in word problems have relevant impacts in real life. Some of these
word problems actually happen in real life. Like when car A drives at a rate of 25 miles
an hour and car A leaves point A at 6:30 what time would car A reach point B. These
kinds of word problems actually happen and this is what people fail to see.
People fail to see that in everything they do math is involved. When they cook,
drive, buy groceries, play, use the internet, etc. This is why this research paper aims to
show the causes of math anxiety. It is because when the causes are laid out people will
have better understanding and views when it comes to math. This research paper also
aims to show the precautions needed to be able to prevent math anxiety. As said by many,
prevention is better than cure.

Question: What do you think is the cause of math anxiety and how do you think it can be
prevented?
Janice Mamabe, 16, student:
Teachers at kung sino pa who will see you and how youre doing. yun sila both are
reasons and only solution. Kasi if ang teacher is terror and parents also. Too much
pressure kills and if like moderate lang sila like strict but will understand, the kid'll be
fine.
Manfred Alvarez, 20, student:
The idea of failing miserably because the subject is hard is what causes it. You can
prevent it by not taking it too hard and studying with a positive attitude.
Avon Jade Clar Ramos, 20, Market Researcher
I think math anxiety is all in the mind. most people, especially students, get so caught up
in the idea that math is very difficult. Most of the time we let this crooked thinking get in
the way or hinder our better understanding of the subject or lessons. Also we are afraid of
committing mistakes especially in front of other people, like during problem solving
activities or boardwork. We tend to think that committing mistakes would only publicly
humiliate us but the truth is it will only improve our math skills. We let ourselves get so
easily confused by all the mathematical terms and formulas. We always say that math is
all about information overload when in fact it's not. So basically we can prevent math
anxiety by making ourselves prepared to understand the subject (again, it's all in the
mind.) We just have to condition our minds to think that math is not really that
challenging and to not let the majority's opinion affect us. All it needs is focus, and just
like in any other subjects, we need to be prepared for every lesson. We just have to learn
to love math and everything else comes easy.
Hazel Sophia Tagotungan, 18, Student:
Students feel the anxiety because they don't set their mind by focusing and trusting
themselves to answer math questions. Basically students know what' the remedy is & it
can be prevented by studying.

Everything is caused by something and everything is preventable. Even math


anxiety has its own set of causes and preventions. Before we move on to the causes and
preventions let us first define Math Anxiety.
Math anxiety is defined by Mark H. Ashcraft as a feeling of tension,
apprehension, or fear that interferes with math performance. Commonly math anxiety is
defined as anxiety about one's ability to do mathematics independent of skill.
People admit to themselves and to others how they dislike math. Even as tots,
math, if not presented well will always be difficult and unlikeable. There is always a
pleasing or better way to present things specially things a bit more complicated.
According to mathgoodies.com, research has confirmed that timed tests and
possible public humiliation has long been the reason for math anxious students. Research
also found out that the three (3) practices in a math class cause anxiety to the students.
The practices are: imposed authority, public exposure and time deadlines. Although these
practices aim to help the students understand math better it causes them stress or anxiety.
Timed deadlines cause pressure to students. It also plants fear in their minds that
if they get it wrong or do not answer the equation on time the student will get humiliated
in front of his/her peers and classmates.
Another cause for math anxiety is the way the teacher feels about math. Usually,
when a teacher loves or is passionate towards the subject he or she is teaching it will
manifest in the way he or she teaches. Their love for the subject they teach will radiate in
them and will also envelope the students they teach. So when a math teacher is passionate
about math the students in turn will feel passionate about it.
No one wants to be put down because of their wrong answer. Although we learn
from our mistakes we do not want to be embarrassed because of our wrong answers. This
leads us to another cause of math anxiety, being put down because of a wrong answer.
Some teachers tend to focus on the wrong and humiliate students. This causes the student
to feel ashamed and frustrated which then leads to math anxiety.
Lastly, math anxiety is caused by negative experiences in the past. Some children
or students have math anxiety because of the things that happened in the past. Like when
they got the wrong answer they were laughed at or they were forced to recite the
multiplication table without flaw so that they could eat their snacks. Situations like this
trigger fear in the minds of the students which, as stated earlier, causes math anxiety.
As formerly stated, everything is preventable. Math anxiety can be prevented by
doing a few things that would guide and help the students in understanding math a lot
better.
First off, teachers and parents could present math in a creative way. The rules in
math do not change but there are ways in solving the problems. These problems and
solutions could be given a creative twist to fuel the interest in the students.
Teachers and parents should stop presenting math as a difficult subject. Math is
not difficult. It only becomes difficult because it is presented in a difficult or challenging
way. When children hear or feel that math is indeed difficult it becomes a fixed mindset
for them until they grow up.

Find good reasons to study math. When the reasons are right we are more
motivated to do something. We become more eager to do something, even solve math
problems. With the right reasons students become more relaxed and passionate about
learning math.
Lastly, what parents and teachers could do is to take the emphasis off tests,
especially timed tests. Though tests are necessary in school, teachers and parents should
not focus on this because what they should be after is the understanding and application
of students. Also, if parents and teachers are not focused on timed tests the student or
child does not feel pressured in answering.
There are different ways in causing and preventing math anxiety but it all boils
down to how the student or child is being guided. In the end, guidance from parents and
teachers will help the child to understand t\math lessons a lot better.

Conclusion
Math, personally, is quite challenging. Its processes are too long and too
complicated. The thing is though Ive gone through experiences in the past that have
made me math anxious.
What causes math anxiety is the complexity of how you answer the equations.
Equations that need hours of solving are not at all appealing, especially to students.
Another cause for me is how the teachers or professors present math. In my experience
math teachers dont exactly present math as a diamond ring. They usually present it as a
rock and as students we would prefer mat to be presented in a way that is appealing and
fun.
Another cause for math anxiety, for me, is the fact that students are pressured to
solve problems in front of many students. The pressure the students feel when answering
is not something that would help their minds fixate on the fact that math is indeed fun.
The pressure only adds to the fear we feel which in return does not make us very
competent in math that also leads us to feeling insecure and then causes math anxiety.
Personally, I would do everything just to avoid math but I have somehow come to
terms with my math anxiety. For me, mind set is what helps you handle your anxiety.
Having the right mind set always gets you to places. If you dont fixate on the fact that
math is complicated and that it is going to require you to take the risk of embarrassment
you will see that math is something that is worth enjoying. You will see that math will be
able to help us in our daily life.
In reality, math is everywhere and people who are math anxious are also
dominant. What I see as a way to prevent students from being math anxious is for them to
see that math is not only a subject. They need to see that math is a good way for them to
grow mentally. Students need to have a positive mind set and point of view towards math
because what they plant in their minds will help them become productive.
Having the right mind set motivates us to crave for more of math. It is what
makes us so eager to do or achieve something. The right mind set pushes us to learn more
and to accept the different problems we are faced.
I can conclude that math anxiety does not help us in any way and finding out what
causes it helps us to take action in reducing it. As I see it, we either strive to understand
and be competent or cower and be anxious every day.

References:
http://www.homeschoolmath.net/teaching/motivate.php
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/05/18/31math_ep.h30.
html
http://mathandreadinghelp.org/articles/Symptoms_and_causes
_of_math_anxiety.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_anxiety
http://www.mathgoodies.com/articles/math_anxiety.html