MANY school pupils across the country are experiencing something called “maths anxiety”, say scientists at Cambridge University.
Does maths ever make you feel stressed, nervous or frustrated? Perhaps it gives you butterflies in your stomach or makes your heart race? Sound familiar? Well, you could be struggling with something called “maths anxiety”.
New research by academics from Cambridge’s Faculty Education and its Centre for Neuroscience suggests that one in ten children currently studying maths at school suffers from “despair and rage” at the subject. The term “maths anxiety” is being used to summarise these strong emotional reactions to maths and their research suggests that it’s a real problem, leading to a general loss of confidence in young people.
Researchers quizzed 1,700 British schoolchildren aged 8 to 13 (so children at both primary and secondary schools) all about their feelings towards maths and found that ten percent of the pupils suffered from some degree of “maths anxiety”.
Academics behind the research have said that adults need to be taking “maths anxiety” seriously as it can seriously affect a child’s learning. They also stated that it could be contributing to an ongoing maths crisis in the UK, where adult numeracy levels are getting worse.
The research says key triggers for “maths anxiety” include poor marks in tests, exam pressures and class teasing.