OVERCOMING MATH ANXIETY by Sheila Tobias

OVERCOMING MATH ANXIETY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Sheila Tobias approaches math anxiety from the point of view of the victim. A former official of Wesleyan University and a good writer, she discusses the psychological, educational, and cultural phenomena which have conspired to make math such a turn-off, especially for women. She concludes that the evidence that women are genetically more verbal and men more spatial-relations oriented is scanty, and that factors such as kinds of toys chosen, athletic activities, motivation, parent and teacher attitudes are major variables which affect math ability in both sexes, but in general create greater difficulties for women. A group therapy approach with individuals airing their feelings and tracing their thoughts when confronted with a mathematical problem has been used, with evident success, to overcome anxiety. Tobias goes a step further. Not only is she no longer a math avoider, she wants the reader to understand many of the stickier points that led to feelings of hopelessness in the past--including why you invert the divisor and multiply when performing division of fractions. She also introduces the important concepts of calculus. The message is clear and well-taken. Hope and help is only a math clinic or a book or two away.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1978
ISBN: 0393035778
Publisher: Norton