Physics Alive

Math Shame and Anxiety

April 30, 2021

In this episode, I explore the shame and anxiety brought on by math. I think this is widespread experience, from those individuals who struggle to understand “simple” mathematics to those who struggle to understand “complex” mathematics. Sometimes, shame can be motivating, but largely I think it is debilitating. The shame message is unconsciously passed on by media, peers, and even faculty.  In the world of education, we can reframe our responses to students' challenges with math, recognize and acknowledge the pervasiveness of shame and anxiety, and help construct healthy mindsets and confidence.  We can begin to undo generations of math shaming.

 

Articles and resources mentioned in the episode:

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