If you ask students to name one subject they fear or are not so fond of, chances are, you will hear “mathematics” get mentioned many times. Indeed, there has always been a common assumption that maths is a mysterious and uniquely challenging subject. For this reason, a lot of students find it hard to understand maths and succeed in their math classes. This is worsened by the fact that numerous misconceptions surround the subject.
These math myths perpetuate math anxiety and discourage students from trying to learn and love maths. Hence, it is crucial to debunk these myths and promote the significance and joy of learning maths as much as possible. Read on to find out three of the most common math myths that may be hindering your child from becoming a math wizard.
Myth 1: Not everyone is capable of understanding math
According to popular assumptions, maths is a complex subject that not everyone can learn. This is perhaps the most common misconception that hinders many students from fully understanding mathematics. Many people falsely believe that maths is innate – that some are born with the so-called “math mind” while others are not. This misconception is further bolstered by the claim that only an elite group of students possesses the capacity to do maths.
However, there is not much truth to this myth for many academicians and researchers, especially when solving mathematical problems. The possible reason why this myth is so widespread is that society tends to favour and value learners who naturally, accurately, and quickly memorise formulas and solve equations, thereby excluding the rest of the students. In reality, everyone is capable of doing maths in different ways.
Myth 2: Math is just all about memorisation
Although memorisation is a critical component of maths, it is not the only means of learning mathematical concepts or theories. Developing the kind of knowledge and skills to analyse mathematical rules and formulas cannot be achieved through memorisation alone. It is also necessary for students to understand them, particularly their application to real-life situations. If a student only approaches maths through memorisation, they will likely not be able to develop critical thinking skills.
The ability to memorise formulas and understand the concepts behind them must always go hand in hand in maths. Students who develop a thorough understanding of maths develop the ability to create shortcuts or ways of solving math problems instead of just following the processes provided in textbooks. This ultimately aids them in choosing the best learning methods that work for them.
Myth 3: Math is not supposed to be fun and creative
Many students refuse to pay much attention to their maths subject because they believe it is too dull. However, although learning maths can be a slow and contemplative process, it can nonetheless be fun and creative at the same time. The key here is for the teachers or tutors to incorporate exciting ways for students to learn maths.
For instance, Lisa Fazio, a Human Development and Psychology professor, tested and designed a mobile application called “Catch the Monsters with Fractions” when she noticed that students’ frustrations manifest when introduced to fractions.
The students are asked to select a particular fraction on a number line in the said game. When the right location is selected, a pop-up monster cartoon affirms the student with a message, “You got me!” On the other hand, when the wrong one is chosen, the pop-up says, “You missed!” According to Fazio, her students improved their performance on fractions after playing the game since they enjoyed the exercise without the burden of viewing it as an academic requirement.
Although math concepts and formulas can seem intimidating at first, understanding them is not as tricky nor dreadful as many people believe. Contrary to popular misconceptions, everyone can learn maths differently, and the learning process does not have to be dull. By knowing the truths behind these myths, students can now appreciate better the beauty and benefits of mathematics.
If you want your child to grasp maths effectively, you should consider signing them up for 1 to 1 maths tuition in Singapore. At Tutopiya, we offer fun and extensive online tuition sessions taught by qualified private tutors and guided by study plans specifically designed to meet every student’s learning needs. If your child is struggling to learn maths, our seasoned IB and IGCSE maths tutors in Singapore can help them overcome their learning difficulties in no time. To enroll your child in our tuition, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us anytime!