Weekly Digest #51: Math Anxiety

Weekly Digest #51: Math Anxiety

As psychology professors, we witness math anxiety first-hand when students sign up to take psychological statistics, often the least favorite required course for a psychology major. Cindy has taught this course every semester of her teaching career and finds that half the battle in the course is getting students past their own anxiety to realize that they can handle this (and it isn’t nearly as boring as they thought)! Today we thought we would provide you with some research-based resources talking about what math anxiety is (and isn’t) and what educators and parents can do about it.


1) Math Anxiety by David Mills

This resource is a great introduction to math anxiety and discusses the difference between math anxiety and dyscalulia, the latter being a true disorder despite often being confused with math anxiety. Also included on this page is a survey that is used to assess math anxiety in math anxiety research and a discussion of why math anxiety is a problem for students as well as others.

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com


2) How to Deal with Math Anxiety in Students by Jessica Deshler, @WVUMathDoc

In this blog post, secondary or higher education instructors are provided with very quick tips for what to do about math anxiety on a daily basis in their classrooms. Included in each tip is a link to the research that supports each piece of advice.


3) Research-Based Solutions to Address Math Anxiety by Cathy Tran, @cathytran

While math anxiety seems like a special form of anxiety, Cathy Tran applies general methods for reducing anxiety to math. These methods can apply to any anxiety—math, test, or life—but this advice is particularly aimed at both parents and teachers to reduce math anxiety on a daily basis (not necessarily only in the classroom).

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com


4) Square Root of Kids’ Math Anxiety: Their Parents’ Help by Jan Hoffman, @JanHoffmanNYT

In this New York Times piece, Jan Hoffman discusses the fact that much math anxiety is transmitted from math anxious parents to their children while they are trying to help with homework. She then provides advice for math anxious parents to create a more position math atmosphere in the home.


5) How to Overcome Math Anxiety by David Ludden

As this is a Psychology Today piece, it is not surprising that David Ludden discusses some of the historical behavioral science research that can be applied to the current problem of math anxiety. He also discusses the fact that math anxiety isn’t necessarily a problem as there are countries where the anxiety levels are high, but so are the math scores! How can this be? Check out his blog post for an explanation.

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com

BONUS: Math Anxiety: Can Teachers Help Students Reduce It? by Sian Beilock, @sianbeilock and Daniel Willingham, @DTWillingham

In an excellent article from American Educator, Beilock and Willingham essentially review all of the information above!

Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Occasionally we publish a guest digest, and If you'd like to propose a guest digest click here. Our 5 most recent digests can be found here:

Weekly Digest #46: Ignite Discussions in the Classroom

Weekly Digest #47: Academic Lifestyle and Self Care

Weekly Digest #48: Tools for Neurodivergent Brains

Weekly Digest #49: Read to Me: Benefits of Reading to Children

Weekly Digest #50: Our Most Popular Digests!