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Singapore Math

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mathophobia is curable!

Mathophobia is curable!

Although millions of people suffer from mathophobia (fear of mathematics in all its forms and degrees), however, it was not too long ago that more attention had been given to this disease, fueled partly by the influx of self-help math books to tap on the huge market of mathophobics and mathematically challenged citizens.

I believe that in a-not-too-distant future books on mathophobia and its related symptoms will be shelved under the Health Section in the library. There may also be titles written on numerical phobias or conditions, such as triskaidekaphobia (irrational fear of the number 13) and acalulia (inability to do basic arithmetic).

Once mathophobia is recognized as a psychological illness that affects workers' performance, perhaps doctors will henceforth issue a medical certificate that may look as follows:

To Whom It May Concern

This is to certify that Aziz Salamat is suffering from Mathophobia (Graphobia).

She has been granted medical leave for 2 days, starting from Monday 2 April 2015 to Tuesday 3 April 2015.

Dr. Adrain Gan

The best cure for mathophobia is prevention; the best antidote is math confidence. Every child can learn math successfully, and every teacher can teach math successfully. In fact, no one is “math-dumb”. Learning math is both logical and emotional. So, treating any math anxiety must include both affective and cognitive elements, as mathematics is both logical and psychological.

What is needed is not a one-for-all syllabus, but rather a curriculum that is challenging, yet at the same time catering for children's different cognitive developments.

Mathophobia: A disease transmitted by parents and teachers to children.

© Yan Kow Cheong, February 28, 2010