Why Does Mathematics Have Unpleasant Memories for Many Adults?

Mathematics phobia or anxiety is a common issue. In medical terminology, dyscalculia has termed a condition that is associated with fear of numbers. We often hear ‘Math is difficult and boring’ or ‘I hate mathematics.’ Some children even feel stressed and anxious when their math teacher asks a question. If you feel the same way, then you are not alone. Mathematics is perhaps the most hated subject among many children and adults.

But why does mathematics create such unpleasant memories for innumerable people across the world?
Let us give an insight into the root cause of such dislike for the subject.

The myth about math:
Children are often forced into the old belief that the ability to understand and master mathematical calculation is an inherent gift rather than from determination and hard work. Once a child holds this belief right from a tender age, the mathematics classroom becomes a place where they are constantly judged.

Many children start feeling that they are judged for not being intelligent enough. Hence, for little kids, the maths subject becomes a reason for shame and failure. Their repeated failure instills the feeling of ‘I am not a math person; I am bad at it. However, it is the sole responsibility of a mathematics teacher to break the myth and guide these students to attain the right mathematical reflexes in a considerate environment.

The rigidity of math:
Adults often find it complicated to comprehend mathematical concepts, resulting in wrong calculations and wrong answers at the end. The eagerness to get the right answer from the teacher even worsens the situation. The whole process discourages the learner and creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Adults with math anxiety often find it difficult to choose math in their future careers and pursue higher studies.

Understanding the logic and mathematical concept is imperative to acquiring mastery in the subject. And, most adults fail to do so.

The complexity of math:
Some adults feel that every stage of their lives is filled with numerous calculations. There are laws of logarithms and exponents, trigonometry, calculus, polynomial equation, ecology, sequencing, and other concepts. Many adults find it extremely challenging to understand the formulas and their execution and equally complicated to memorize a few of them. On the contrary, certain formulas cannot be memorized because of their varying applications, and that becomes complicated for those who are good at memorizing mathematic formulas.

Lack of connection with math:
Many adults are just not keen on learning different formulas, complex concepts, and so many numbers. Instead, they find it easier to project and invest time in subjects like social science and literature as the connection with reality is more evident. Mathematics, on the contrary, becomes abstract, immaterial, and complex to understand.

However, people tend to forget that mathematics is crucial in our daily lives. Right from grocery shopping to planning a vacation, a calculation is indispensable at every step of our life.

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