6 out of 10 university students have math anxiety

I learned about this through Deb Russel’s blog over at About.com. A Spanish study reveals that:

Six out of every 10 university students, regardless their field of study, present symptoms of anxiety when it comes to dealing with mathematics

Some details about the study reveals that:

The researchers assessed the students using the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales, a questionnaire validated by experts from all over the world which has been used since the 70s. The students took the questionnaire at the beginning of the second four-month period of school.

These are interesting results. Math anxiety should definitely be taken seriously, and a person’s attitudes towards mathematics are important, regardless if they are related to anxiety or not. I have done a much more informal study of my own students in early childhood education over the last couple of years, and almost half of them find mathematics boring and/or difficult. If some of them even have math anxiety, I think this will strongly impact their work as future teachers, kindergarten teachers or whatever they will end up doing!

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