Everyone, regardless of ability, will most likely encounter frustrations and failures at some point in life. Their motivation, learning, and success will be affected by well they are able to respond to such experiences. Saying "you can do this" is important, but how should educators "teach the virtues of grit--tenacity, perseverance, and the ability to never give up" (Hoerr, 2013, Why Grit? section). Thomas Hoerr address this issue in and provides six steps of teaching for grit.
An intervention focused on controlling negative emotional response has reported improved achievement. Writing about anxieties may be one way to rehearse such control. Following on from laboratory-based studies, a school-based intervention was carried out among students aged 14-15 years (N=106). These students first rated their own anxiety and were then randomly allocated into two groups. For 10 minutes, immediately before a maths test, one group wrote about mathematics-related anxieties and the other about a topic not in the test. Amongst students who had had rated themselves as more anxious, those who wrote about their anxieties significantly outperformed maths anxious students in the other group, performing similarly to less maths anxious students. (p. 16)
Multidimensionality in the measurement of math …
Educators must take math anxiety seriously. One way to potentially help learners reduce the negative affects of their math anxiety is writing about it prior to taking a math test, as suggested in (Howard-Jones, 2014) commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation in London. Howard-Jones noted:
negative affect on arithmetic performance
Does math anxiety lead to poor performance or does poor math performance lead to math anxiety? Research is mixed as to which comes first, the emotion or poor performance. Carey, Hill, Devine, and Szücs (2016) discussed theories:
Does Music Give You Math Skills? It's a Tricky Equation
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Does Music Give You Math Skills
Most likely, everyone has experienced math anxiety at one time or another. It is an emotional response that often comes from negative experiences working with teachers, tutors, classmates, or family members. Symptoms include panic (feeling helpless about an ability to do better and putting pressure on yourself, which affects your ability to concentrate), paranoia (feeling that everyone but you knows the answer), passivity (feeling that regardless of what action you might take, you were just not born with math ability; hence you do nothing to overcome the problem), no confidence (you continually question yourself and approach math by memorizing rules and procedures, rather than through understanding concepts). Identifying the source of your problem may be a first step in overcoming it.
Math Anxiety in College Students across Majors | Eid …
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Math Anxiety in College Students across ..
"Anxiety about mathematics performance is related to low mathematics grades, failure to enroll in advanced mathematics courses, and poor scores on standardized tests of mathematics achievement. It also may be related to failure to graduate from high school. At present, however, little is known about its onset or the factors responsible for it. Potential risk factors for mathematics anxiety include low mathematics aptitude, low working memory capacity, vulnerability to public embarrassment, and negative teacher and parent attitudes." (p. 31)