• How to combat math anxiety and build confidence in the classroom

      Bernhardt, Shannon (2021-12)
      In an age of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), the relevance of mathematical understanding and skill continues to increase across the country. It is becoming more apparent that a large majority of students have developed anxiety that stems from doing math in both academic settings and ordinary life. Despite the increasing awareness of math anxiety, the overall negative feelings towards mathematics demonstrated by students of all ages has stayed significant and is continuing to worsen. In collaboration with the education department at the State University of New York at New Paltz, a group of preservice elementary school teachers contributed accounts of their personal experiences with math anxiety during and after their enrollment in two required math courses for those pursuing elementary education. Surrey and interview data was collected from eight students attending the university, which offer qualitative evidence of several causes of math anxiety that stemmed from past experience as well as teaching methods used in the courses taught at SUNY New Paltz that lessened students’ math anxiety and increased their mathematical confidence.
    • Why do we hate math and how do we teach it?

      Seiter, Ashley (2019-05)
      In this thesis, I am going to discuss teaching methods and practices that lessen anxiety, due to Math Phobia, in an adolescent setting. I first discuss that students develop Math Phobia, from ineffective teaching strategies, lack of success, and mathematical mindset. To reduce anxiety, effective teachers, must teach how we learn mathematics, using the 3 learning principles and the BDA lesson format. The teaching method, problem-based learning, serves as platform which students learn through discovery, in which teachers create a positive classroom culture, through discussion. I will discuss strategies inside PBL that promote a growth mindset, such as the power of a mistake, differentiation, and formative assessments. Jo Boaler (2016) serves as the main source of research in this thesis, providing insight towards Math Phobia. I argue that these teaching strategies and mindsets are effective in lessening anxiety to allow all students to succeed in the classroom. Keywords: Adolescent Education, Mathematics, Math Phobia, math anxiety, teaching strategies, mathematical mindset growth mindset, fixed mindset, success, prior knowledge, conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, problem-solving skills, metacognition, BDA format, essential question, learning objective, learning through discovery, problem-based learning, direct instruction, positive classroom culture, discussion, power of a mistake, memorization, differentiation, multiple modalities, scaffolding, student choice, heterogeneous grouping, homogeneous grouping, assess for learning, formative assessment, summative assessment