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Why Most Students Fail Math and What You Can Do About It |

Written by Germain Tanoh, PhD |

We all recognize the importance of knowing how to read in our society, but very few view mathematics with nearly the same regard. Most people would be ashamed to admit that they are illiterate, but in North America, it is socially respectable to confess that one can’t do math. In a recent survey by the BC Ministry of Education, 56% of grade 12 students in British Columbia said that they are struggling with mathematics. ## Math avoidance
Math avoidance has become a very popular sport in the educational system. Students develop strategies and plans to avoid math. They are more inclined to enroll in a program if it requires fewer maths or no math qualification at all. These students are excluding themselves from promising and well-paying careers.
## Have a Positive Math AttitudeBad experiences with math are the main reason students don’t like math and can explain their negative attitude about learning math. It is not uncommon to hear students say that they hate math. “I've hated math ever since I was nine years old, when my father grounded me for a week because I couldn’t learn my multiplication tables.” A student confessed. Punishment is not the best way to make students learn and perform in math. However, it is alarming that, it is socially acceptable not to do well in math. The message parents are passing to their children is that, it is normal not to learn math. The truth is, students cannot access health sciences & medical school, business school, or engineering school to cite a few without a proof of basic knowledge of math and a good command of math. In other words, parents are closing doors to better jobs for their children. Children only replicate their parent’s attitude about learning mathematics. That is why, parent must avoid any math stereotype and focus on finding ways to help their child develop positive math attitude. ## Seek for HelpBecause of the widespread social belief, as a student you may be content with your poor performance in math and think it is all right to fail math. I am afraid to disappoint you. It is not! If you are struggling with math or you are afraid you will fail math, here are three ways you can get the help you need: - Use the resources of your school, college or university. Most of them have a tutoring lab, if your education institution doesn’t have one; consider hiring an upper level math student or a professional math tutor for individual learning support.
- Visit your math professor or math teacher during office hours and attend any extra workshop or help session she or he offers.
- Join or start a math study group with some of your classmates.
Everyone can do math. Math avoidance or math anxiety is not an intellectual disability but an emotional reaction to math.Take the required action today to free yourself from the social belief and start experiencing the joy of doing math. |