Three-Act Tasks. Notice and Wonder. Estimation 180. Math Talk. We learn about these leading practices for mathematics education in publications, on social media, and during professional learning events. Many educators find that these strategies are transforming today’s classrooms through increased engagement, constructive risk-taking, and rigorous problem-solving. We may be curious: From a cognitive development viewpoint, why are these techniques so effective?
Math anxiety is more than just being nervous about math. It is characterized by feelings of panic, tension, and helplessness aroused by doing math or even just thinking about it (Ashcraft & Kirk, 2001). Researchers think that about 20 percent of the population suffers from it. But having mathematical anxiety does not mean that a student is not good at math. Even accomplished mathematicians, such as Laurent Schwartz and Maryam Mirzakhani, reported having suffered from it. Math anxiety is not the result of doing poorly in mathematics; rather, a student may do poorly in mathematics because they feel anxious about it.