November 24, 2022

Majorly 80% of students in Nigeria today have this phobia for the subject ‘MATHEMATICS’ but the real question is; is the phobia for mathematics as a subject or the mathematics teacher?

Majorly 80% of students in Nigeria today have this phobia for the subject ‘MATHEMATICS’ but…

An average Nigerian student will pick the English language over mathematics because they believe that the English language is a straightforward subject and as well easy to understand even for the fact that it is the lingua franca (official language) of the country.

Archimedes who is regarded as the father of Mathematics for his significant contribution to the development of mathematics and science has configured diverse mathematical concepts to solve mathematical problems.

Numerophobia, arithmophobia or mathematics anxiety is an anxiety disorder, where the condition is fear of dealing with numbers or mathematics.

Wikipedia.com

Should we then say that these concepts have rather had negative effects on students than positive effects?

Or should we say that the complex parts should be left out and the easy-to-understand concepts are adopted?

A student down with mathematics fear

Do mathematics teachers use difficult methods of teaching?

All these and many more questions are on the walls of the hearts of students who find mathematics very difficult to comprehend and assimilate.

Mathematics, the science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from elemental practices of counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects.

It deals with logical reasoning and quantitative calculation, and its development has involved an increasing degree of idealization and abstraction of its subject matter.

Since the 17th century, mathematics has been an indispensable adjunct to the physical sciences and technology, and in more recent times it has assumed a similar role in the quantitative aspects of the life sciences.

As a consequence of the exponential growth of science, most mathematics has developed since the 15th century CE, and it is a historical fact that from the 15th century to the late 20th century.

Taking a closer insight into the world of mathematics, we would realize that it’s way deeper than the equations and geometry that we are familiar with; most students find it difficult to align with other topics in this subject due to so many reasons such as;

  • Too many methods to attain a concluding answer
  • Long steps before arriving at the final answer
  • Confusing variables
  • Complicating questions
  • Straightforward examples and tough exercises

These and many more instances aggravate mathematics as a subject for students.

An average Nigerian student will pick the English language over mathematics because they believe that the English language is a straightforward subject and as well easy to understand even for the fact that it is the lingua franca (official language) of the country.

In some cases, most students dislike mathematics because of the teacher teaching and we can point out some reasons;

a. The teachers lack the patience to teach for deep understanding, they are rather concerned about the students passing

b. Most teachers only concentrate on students that grasp what they teach faster (intelligent ones) than the average and below-average students which is a bad means of sharing knowledge.

c. Formulas and structures of the subjects are meant to be taught with visible materials that would engage the students (more practical than theory).

Most students can only assimilate well and fast when they see and practicalize what they are taught; writing alone might not be a good technique for good results.

d. Most teachers are not well trained; they have little knowledge of the subject which will make it extra difficult to teach technical topics well because they do not understand deeply themselves.

Teachers should gather enough knowledge before teaching.


e. Schools should employ the fun aspects of the subject too, research deeply about the structure of the subject and make available necessary equipment to foster deep understanding and yield good results.


f. Students who are average in mathematics should not be mocked or neglected; they should rather be the core focus in classes for them to perform well in both internal and external examinations.

Mathematics like any other subject is very important in the curriculum for students, therefore every amenity and technique needed to make the subject easy to learn and understand should be employed.

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