Regular maths practice can go a long way in reducing stress during board exams, says educationist Divya Jain
For most students, maths is the bug bear that makes many break out into a cold sweat. Fearing it seems to be an endemic malady afflicting the Student community. The dread of the subject aggravates especially during examinations as students feel flustered trying to cram and memorise the various formulae and theorems at the last minute. Often parents pass on their fear of the subject to the children. Added to this is the widely-held perception that maths requires an extraordinary level of intelligence. However, it should be understood that a little creativity and regular practice can go a long way in alleviating maths phobia and in reducing the stress during board exams.
Tips to understand the phobia
To understand maths phobia, we need to accept the fact that it’s not an easy subject to grasp. This can be categorised as a feeling of anxiety that students feel when they attempt to solve problems. It is marked by stress, which ranges from mild to high, inducing a sense of helplessness and psychological disorganisation. This can have a prolonged impact on the mind and in some cases, negative influence on health as well. Some students even experience serious issues like depression, panic attacks, shivering, headache and nausea. So, it is imperative to eliminate this phobia at the very beginning to prevent it from developing into a more serious problem. This is possible only when the reasons behind maths phobia are understood.
The reasons can be different for each child. Teachers on their part need to be patient and adjust their pace keeping in mind the aptitude and comprehension capabilities of different students. They can break down mathematical concepts into small understandable units to enable students to understand them easily. Teachers should also be accessible and approachable so that students do not hesitate to talk to them when they face a challenge. This support can go a long way in eradicating a negative attitude and making them proficient in the subject.
Tips to eliminate the phobia
Acknowledge the phobia
The first step in getting rid of maths phobia is to acknowledge that you have it. Once there is realisation, it is easier to take steps that will help alleviate any stress or panic caused by the subject.
Try breathing exercises
Since it can induce stress and panic, breathing exercises come in handy and help to calm the mind. This is very crucial for tasks that require critical thinking and problem-solving.
The proverb, practice makes perfect, is particularly true for maths. It demands constant practice to gain expertise and also helps in understanding the complexities of the subject.
Apply maths in real life
Math skills are very important in everyday life for dealing with tasks that range from simple to complex. Incorporating it into everyday activities will make it a part of your life. Fear of the subject will disappear once you understand that it is everywhere.
A student should never be afraid to ask questions in the math class. Asking questions will help to resolve any doubts a student might have while postponing this process can adversely affect the understanding of the subject.
Take help from classmates
Working together as a group can help students immensely as learning in a cooperative environment works wonders for a subject like maths. This also adds an element of fun and excitement.
Practicing these tips makes easier to develop math skills as well as boost confidence levels. Maths as a subject is not an insurmountable challenge; regular practice, reading up on tips and tricks, finding creative ways to solve problems etc., can make it easier to grasp in no time. It is important that students are not frustrated and remain calm and concentrate when faced with a challenging math problem. Apart from teachers, parents should also help their children understand tough concepts in a communicative environment, encourage them with positive feedback and make sure their feedback is taken constructively. This will remove the psychological blocks that young students develop due to past negative experiences of trying to learn the subject.
Monday, 21 January 2019 | Divya Jain| in Vivacity
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