‘Maths anxiety’ may be fuelling a national crisis, researchers say

“Maths anxiety” may be fuelling a national crisis, Cambridge University researchers have said, as they find that one in ten children suffer from “despair and rage” at the subject. The Telegraph reports. 

The number of children who experience maths anxiety is a “real concern”, according to academics from Cambridge’s Faculty of Education and its Centre for Neuroscience.

Researchers surveyed 1,700 British pupils aged eight to 13 about their feelings towards the subject.

They found that ten per cent of children suffered from maths anxiety, meaning they had “overwhelming negative emotions” towards the subject, ranging “from rage to despair”.

The phenomenon of maths anxiety is characterised as a “general sense of feeling the subject is hard compared with other subjects”, leading to a subsequent lack or loss of confidence.  

“Many children and adults experience feelings of anxiety, apprehension, tension or discomfort when they are confronted by mathematics. This may be contributing to a relatively  low level of numeracy amongst UK adults.”  

Dr Denes Szucs, deputy director at Cambridge’s Centre for Neuroscience in Education and one of the report’s authors, said that there is a widespread misunderstanding that only low performing children suffer from maths anxiety.

In fact, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of children with high levels of maths anxiety are normal to high achievers.  

Dr Szucs went on: “Probably their maths anxiety will go unnoticed because their performance is good. But they are very anxious and in the long term their performance is suppressed.”

Read more ‘Maths anxiety’ may be fuelling a national crisis, researchers say

Have you suffered from Maths anxiety’? Do your pupils/children suffer from it? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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  1. Syed Shams

    If you ask any student, which subject they fear the most in school life 70 to 80 percent of the student will say that it is math. Well, we all know there is some gender discernment is very strong in education. But when it comes to the math it’s become stronger. But it has nothing to do with feminism . If they have some extra support from the teacher or from any online education support center, they would have done a lot better. There are many online education centers to improve their math. They also can take help from YouTube.

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