We’ve all hit that wall dealing with numbers.
For me, the moment came in first year calculus. The proofs were over my head, my profs may as well have been talking textbooks, and I felt like an idiot. I seriously thought about dropping out of my program once a term. Thankfully I had a support system to help me get through (really good and smart friends, and a mother who told me I would move back to the suburbs if I dropped out. Ironically, chalk one up to fear-based motivation!)
That all or nothing feeling - you either “get it” or you don’t - is one that is pervasive in math learning and teaching.
As I teach a group of adult learners in a foundations math course this term, I’m starting to see the signs of anxiety in them as learners. A quiz recently on conversion rates had a handful of them visibly stressed, and verbally cursing about having to do this and wanting to quit. This was a group of people, who, until this point, had been surprisingly excited about learning math. So what is going on here, and what can we do?!
A passionate educator.. on a quest for a schooling model to love!