Why Math Is Difficult From The Perspective Of Current Teachers And Students

Why Math Is Difficult From The Perspective Of Current Teachers And Students

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The basis of this research was to find any possible explanation to why math is difficult from the perspective of current teachers and students. General information was collected first such as one’s general interests, motivation and opinions/perspectives. Some questions I set out to find answers for include: Is math difficult due to personal motivation or other factors, what are some possible causes of this deficiency in math comprehension, and when students perspectives are compared to teacher perspectives what the some differences that can help explain this phenomenon. To help extract more information from the participants I also asked when compared to other countries why is the United States not doing as well as these countries.

A general trend was found within the student responses in which when a student did not perform well or successfully in mathematics course they were more likely to show a lack of interest in the subject. The opposite also applied in which if a student was successful in math then they general found interest in the subject. One common persistent belief in the student body was also the fact that the students themselves are to blame for the difficulty of the subject. Student participants directly stated these reasons as causes of difficulty of math: students of this generation are not motivated, a lack of student discipline when compared to other countries, and that students take education for granted. Teacher participants generally blamed all aspects of math equally, such as the motivation of students, the confusing language of math and how it can be easily misinterpreted, and the educational system in general. The teachers know may know more on the topic of why students struggle with math as they teach it...

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...haps students can accomplish more in school as other countries students do. Future studies could attempt to gather more data on the teacher’s perspectives as this study was the first to do so. These future studies could possibly show the development of students opinions and weighing the teacher’s opinions more heavily as they are the ones directly teaching the students. Due to my very small sample size I had very limited access to teacher perspectives and could not find any prior studies mentioning the teacher’s perspectives on the issue of students struggling with math. The majority of these potential causes are vague enough to also be generalized to other courses and subjects such as motivation or anxiety. More needs to be done to see how the ones teaching the students can assist and contribute to the problem as it affects them just as much as it does the students.

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