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I love mathematics a lot. This is my favourite subject ever since I stepped my feet to the kindergarten until I graduated from high school. I didn't have mathematics in college. It is a fascinating and magic tool to help me solve a lot of daily problems involving numbers, probability, shapes, etc. I wonder how people could hate mathematics. Today I would like to share my thought about 7 Reasons People Hate Mathematics.
Not everyone has the same thought and impression like me. Even they love mathematics and at least know how beautiful mathematics is, many people are still struggling in doing mathematics from the basic one or at certain levels. In other words, some people have definitely hated mathematics since they are born, but some of them are just struck by mathematics hate when they come to certain level of doing mathematics.
It is not far away from my life. My sister and one of my sons don't like mathematics at all. It takes a long time for my son to do a maths assignment and he said he just doesn't like maths since he knows numbers. That was what I saw about him too. My sister always gets stomachache of being nervous whenever she does financial reports that she has to do.
7 Reasons People Hate Mathematics
I try to think what make them hate mathematics so much to see how I can help them reduce the feeling of hatred. There might be people that have been talented in numbers and those who have better talent in other fields. However, just reducing their hatred will get them less sick whenever they do things related with mathematics.
- Not solid basic
This is what happens to my son and might be most mathematics hater, I think. In the public school, teachers are demanded go further and follow most group of students with more dominant progress. Even teachers in my country here have targets set by the government to achieve certain common core (something like that here)
On the other hand, some learners need more attention or longer time to strengthen their basics than the other groups in the classroom. Consequently, the minority has to follow. As a result, when one basic is not strong, the other concept is taught so that the confusion is overlapping. In a certain level, learners feel they get worse and worse so that they are not confident to continue another Mathematics lesson. Go to the basic and practice the missing skills adequately would be a great help. However, educators need to find out which way is suitable to get the drill done without making learners bored or traumatic.
It often happens to many people. For a reason or many, some people have bad experience with mathematics. It is usually caused by external cause. It doesn't happen only for mathematics lessons, but can be to other subjects or field.
The experience of being fail and lost can be one example of traumatic cause. Hard pressure or demand from parents, teachers, or environment that are failed to meet is one of many reasons. For some people, getting embarrassed is another reason for being traumatic. It is good for teachers or parents to find out the cause, reason, and bad experience that make the learner gets traumatic before finding out a way to fix the broken hearted learners.
- Limited concentration
Limited concentration will always be a general problem for any subject and mathematics is one of all. It happens especially when someone has to do some calculation which is longer than usual. A few distractions in the middle of the process will be a terrible missing link to the whole process. It makes the whole work becomes sloppy and careless. This flaw can make learners reluctant to do further with the practice.
Anyway, this is a habit that can be part of personal growth. A regular therapy can be used to lengthen the duration of concentration. Of course, a great deal of patience is really needed to do so.
- Limited Abstract
Some concepts of mathematics are hard to performed visually. The idea of variable use in the algebra will give a hard time for both educators and learners to make sense for the first time. not everyone can absorb certain ideas easily. In many case, learners need some manipulative and other hands-on activities.
Even explaining the difference between the concept of number operation will sometimes give very difficult and stressful times for me and my son. Therefore we always get the counter standby on the right place whenever we have mathematics lessons.
- Looking for shortcuts and Reluctance
Reading is a must or main requirement for doing most of mathematics questions, especially problem solving or word problem. I am not sure whether it is a cause or result of hating mathematics, but I have found this symptom in most mathematics haters. Even learners are keen readers in other subjects or fields, they would usually avoid more detail questions
Giving another form of mathematics teaching would be an alternative for this case. You might see some online resources and games available for either free or paid.
- Not Structured Work
Some messy works of learners will be a boomerang for themselves, being aware or not. The messy works will lead learners to further mistakes that make them cannot find the right answer. Soon they would be discouraged to do further exploration in mathematics.
Neatness is one key in doing mathematics work in many topics. Some messy or careless habit will make the work chaos and unstructured. For example, writing number digits on the wrong place value will give a wrong result in the end. It also happens with number exponents, decimals, division, etc. I don't think that your writing should be as neat as penmanship, but it just need to be tidy or structured well. Many scientists have difficult handwriting, but they should have the right basic structure in mathematics writing work.
- Other Dominant Interest
Some people just classify themselves belong to other groups of interest. It is just like how people group or claim themselves to be left or right brained. It also happens to both my sister and my son. Before they get to used with mathematics, they put themselves to be artist category. They might forget that many artists needs mathematics most of the time accidentally.
They will forget that they do some mathematics activities which are combined with arts. It is great to combine mathematics with other activities like physical education or arts (music, dancing, drawing, and visual arts) so that they forget they do mathematics. They might love mathematics later on.
Anyone of you knows math hater around? Do you mathematics hater yourselves?
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.