How Attitude Towards Math Impacts Student Achievments

How Attitude Towards Math Impacts Student Achievments

By Smita Suhasaria

As an educator, we know how much of our time and resources get dedicated to exploring the following question:

 How can we improve the student learning experience? How can we make Math Fun For Them ? One way to tackle this issue though  often overlooked  –  is to consider students’ attitudes towards math. Whether positive or negative, attitude towards math often reflects a student’s value, self-confidence, enjoyment, motivation and anxiety levels when it comes to the subject. 

17% of Americans suffer from high levels of math anxiety.
As early as 1st grade, students can start displaying negative attitudes towards math. 
In A survey 80% of  students enjoyed learning activities more when they used online learning mode.

Table of contents

·      Math anxiety

·    Attitude and achievement — a bidirectional relationship

·      The importance of a positive attitude

              ·       Vedic Math Sutra Based learning and attitude towards math

 Math Anxiety 

Math Anxiety is an extreme, yet all-too-common, example of what can happen with a negative attitude towards math.

Educational Studies in Mathematics considers Math anxiety to be a feeling of tension and worry that interferes with a student’s ability to solve math problems. 

Those with math anxiety have extremely negative perceptions about their own ability to succeed in the subject, often thinking:

·       I hate math.

·       I just can’t do math.

·       I’ll never be good at it, so what’s the point in trying? 

These negative feelings are also expressed with physiological symptoms that can diminish a person’s sense of comfort and self esteem.

Various studies — including -this one from the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education – associate higher levels of math anxiety with reduced enjoyment and motivation, as well as poor performance. Even if a student is capable of solving math problems, anxiety can still impact their enjoyment of math and motivation to learn more. This gets expressed with worse outcomes on math assignments and tests, which can lead to a continuous cycle of math anxiety.

Unfortunately, these negative outcomes are not hard to come by. Around 17% of Americans suffer from high levels of math anxiety, and negative feelings that contribute to math anxiety can be seen in children as early as 1st grade. 

These findings suggest getting involved as early as possible is the best way to prevent long-lasting negative attitudes about math and extreme states of math anxiety.

So, how do you intervene in the relationship between attitude and achievement?

Attitude and achievement -a bidirectional relationship

To improve student attitudes and achievement in math, it’s important to understand the connection between the two. At first glance, it might seem like an obvious correlation: if a student has a good attitude towards math, they’ll be more inclined to learn, they’ll try harder and their performance will be better.

This idea can be taken a step further. Research suggests the relationship between attitude and achievement is bidirectional. This means a relationship can develop from two
different directions:

1.     A student with a positive attitude towards math:

 Is more confident when learning math → enjoys math → is motivated to do more → actively engages during math lessons → gets more practice → achieves more. 

2.     A student with higher achievement in math:

Has more confidence in their abilities → sees the value of math → has a positive attitude towards Math.

One study actually found a stronger effect from achievement to attitude, indicating that actual performance and grade levels can seriously impact a student’s thoughts about math.

This bidirectional relationship can often result in a cycle of attitudes and achievement feeding into one another. To improve attitudes and/or achievement, you need to break this cycle and create one of

The importance of a positive attitude

Short-term achievement in math can be great, but positive attitudes can lead to so much more than a few good test scores. 

Educators should instill positive attitudes in math not just for better performance in the subject, but also to improve overall cognitive  abilities and help create lifelong learners! 

When students display a positive attitude towards math, improvements can be seen in:

·       Emotions

·       Motivation

·       Confidence

·       Engagement

·       Working memory

·       Numerical processing

Having a positive attitude acts directly on your memory and learning system.

Improvements in each of these areas certainly contribute to greater learning abilities and educational
outcomes, but they also make for healthier, happier students overall.

 This is why instilling positive attitudes and promoting a growth mindset as early as possible is so important.

Vedic Sutra Based learning and attitude towards math

Now that we understand the importance of positive attitudes, how do we actually establish them ?One promising option for promoting a positive attitude towards math is to introduce them to Vedic Maths as early as third grade It’s no secret that kids love speed and when they have Vedic Maths in their hand they automatically gain speed using Vedic Math Sutras. Vedic Maths not only helps in faster calculations but it also improves logical reasoning, critical thinking, sequencing, pattern forming etc.  The list is endless.

How BrainLabs Academy can help

We offer multiple courses which can improve student’s attitudes towards math. BrainLabs Academy provides over 200 curriculum-aligned math skills for students to practice. Plus, it makes sure they actually want to practice math. .Students love Vedic Maths because it’s fun to do and enhances the calculation speed greatly, and educators love it because it motivates and engages students to improve their abilities in math. With Vedic Maths, you can instill a positive attitude and see just how much students can achieve in math. 

I’ve seen a huge change in students’ attitudes toward math. Before doing Vedic Maths course, many students reported math as their least favourite subject.. After doing Vedic Maths courses, students are motivated to learn and no longer view math as their least favourite thing to do. Early in the year, a parent thanked me for teaching their son Vedic Maths because  Maths is his favourite subject now rather than the dreaded subject.

Strengthen attitudes and boost student learning

Negative attitudes towards math are far more common than they should be. Things like insecurity, apathy and math anxiety can greatly impact a student’s learning environment and their overall achievement in math. Luckily, instilling a positive attitude early could be the key to improving achievement. Reinforcing positive attitudes can break the cycle — boosting learning outcomes and motivating children to learn, grow and improve. Math often carries a bad reputation, but it doesn’t have to. Negative perceptions about math usually stem from how students learn to view academic subjects early on. When a positive attitude in math is encouraged, students will keep working harder, reaching higher and following their own paths to success. 

Positivity Towards Maths

The days of math tables and rote memorization are long over. These old techniques are perhaps the fastest way to turn a child who is a math lover into a math hater. The current and future generations of kids already understand that we all need to be “math people” with the ability to think critically and solve problems. Students now realize that math success equals success in college or career. That means making math real, fun, relatable, and engaging.

Like any field of knowledge, math starts easy and gets more challenging. Advanced math is tough for anyone. But it’s so rewarding. If we can instill a passion for math at a young age, and continue to fuel that passion, it becomes that much easier for children to grow and leverage their love and knowledge of math and to find creative solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges, from healthcare to the environment.

Key Takeaways

·       The relationship between attitude towards math and learning outcomes is bidirectional. A positive attitude towards math can lead to higher achievement, and high achievement can result in more favourable attitudes.

·       Students’ attitude towards math can affect their overall achievement. Value, self-confidence, enjoyment, motivation and anxiety surrounding math are all reflected in a student’s attitude. Getting involved as early as possible is the best way to prevent long-lasting negative attitudes towards math.

·       Vedic Mathematics is a promising option for improving  math. Since kids have so much fun playing video games, incorporating them into learning can increase motivation and engagement — leading to better attitudes towards math and greater achievement.





Leave a Reply