Why Is Math More Difficult for Some Students?

Math is largely a skill that we humans are always trying to master. The very nature has been met with some reservations, and even fear, throughout the years. Many people across the world have trouble with math, and in this post, we will discuss why it’s harder for some students

Why Is Math More Difficult for Some Students?

  • Lack of practice

According to Adobe Education Exchange, teaching math courseware, only about 50% of students can master the prescriptive skills necessary for doing math problems. 

In other words, to become good at something, we have to do it a lot. Before math and science became a compulsory part of our education system, they were not so widespread in our culture. Nowadays, there is a shortage of math and science graduates. This is because most people are not interested in the subjects.

  • Social disadvantages

A study shows that students who do not speak English as their first language may struggle more in math.

The reason for this is that they have many social disadvantages, making them less likely to be willing to take a risk in their math skills. Since they’re not confident enough, they often end up taking the easier road. Sometimes this ends up being a test they pass but would’ve earned better grades if they were to choose a more difficult option.

  • Differentiated teaching

Teachers are more inclined to make students work on example problems than allow them to experiment with their knowledge. For students who struggle with math, the result can be that they get disinterested in the math, or worse, get discouraged.

The reason for this is that when the teacher decides how the problem is solved, it’s difficult for them to understand why it’s done and how it’s done. This makes math harder for these students.

Teachers need to show how math concepts are used in real life and encourage students to practice them independently. This will help students feel like they have a say in the process, making it easier for them to learn.

  • Lack of understanding

It is common for students who struggle with math to be left behind. Although it’s not necessarily their fault, they’re often not given much time to work out difficult problems. This encourages them to give up.

In some cases, the teacher may have explained the concept clearly, but the student still has trouble due to their disposition towards math rather than educators. Having the teacher ask for another problem is a good way to take the same one again. This encourages patience and helps students progress by gaining experience.

Having students repeat difficult problems is a good practice, but not all students can do this, and it’s important for teachers to be aware of these limitations.

When it comes to encouraging students who would benefit from more practice, teachers should consider both social disadvantage and confidence in math. If they can’t do so, they should either provide opportunities for these students or help them understand math concepts.

  • Self-fulfilling prophecy

Students who believe that math is hard often fall behind. This is because they lose confidence in their ability to understand the topic, which makes them do less practice and make less progress.

Teachers need to be aware of this and ensure that students are given the practice they need. For example, classroom exercises can be a good way to keep students interested in learning.

The conclusion to this post is that students who have not had much math practice are more likely to find math difficult. It is, therefore, necessary for them to receive a lot of practice if they wish to become better at math.

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