Schools Advice

Maths Anxiety

An interesting article in The Guardian about maths anxiety.

Although the concept of maths anxiety has been in the public arena since the 1950’s, new research from Stamford University has revealed what is happening in a child’s brain as they freeze in front of a maths question.

It has shown that fear of maths replicates the neural activity that fear of spiders, or snakes or heights does in other children.  As the fear function increases activity, the problem-solving function contracts and closes down.  In short, maths becomes a phobia.

This is the first time that maths anxiety has been seen through a biological / neural rather than behavioural lens.  Researchers hope that this might lead to earlier diagnosis of the problem and better rooted solutions.

It is thought that up to two million school children in England suffer from maths anxiety and, in most cases, there is no real help at hand.

Sufferers can be as able as mathematicians as their peers but tend to withdraw from the subject and thus fall behind.

Labels Research and trends.