Why students fear Mathematics?
Mathematics is the most dreaded subject for students. It is the biggest fund generator in the tuition industry in India. Let us examine the factors involved, to analyze the reasons for the fear in the minds of students. In Part 1 we shall analyze the reasons and in Part 2 we shall suggest ways to overcome the fear of Mathematics.
- The subject requires good reasoning & analyzing ability. It requires these abilities & helps to enhance them.
- It requires constant & regular practice. While in some other subjects, like humanities, a student can manage to perform okay with last few days’ effort to learn, it does not work in the case of Mathematics.
- To score marks a student has to be absolutely clear about the concepts, while even a hazy understanding in some other subjects may fetch passing marks.
- While formulae exist to solve problems, understanding their derivation is vital to having a clear comprehension of the subject. Thus mugging up formulae cannot take one far!
- It is often uninteresting to most students. They are not able to grasp the value of learning the subject.
- Most of the students do not realize the value of knowing the subject. Motivation to learn is weak.
- Subject requires regular & constant effort. Most students prefer last minute effort. Thus they are unable to cope up because of their inconsistency of effort.
- Some students living in the ‘passing marks paradigm’ are not accustomed to getting clarity of things & are satisfied with a hazy understanding. Mathematics is totally unsuited to their paradigm.
- Mathematics tuition is the most lucrative business for teachers. It makes economic sense to teach in tuition rather than class.
- Incentive to teach the value of the subject is not there.
- Incentive to make the subject interesting, by giving live examples, or explaining the value is not there. Conversely there is incentive to scare the students of the subject & thus get them for tuition.
- Great attention is being paid to children’s education in our country.
- Parents’ interest in a child’s education generally translates into marks obsession.
- Parents tend to panic when a child does not understand a few problems & would like to send them for tuition at the earliest.
- The insecurity of the parents as regards a child’s ability to understand Mathematics permeates to the child. The child also panics & seeks tuition at the earliest.
- Lack patience in allowing a child to struggle with a problem, which would actually benefit the child more, & would like instant resolution of the problem through tuition.