Math

is an important subject in school. It is one of the major subjects that

requires our intelligence in order to solve the problems. Math anxiety has been

defined by Tobias and Weissbrod (1980) as “the panic, helplessness, paralysis,

and mental disorganization that arises among some people when they are required

to solve a mathematical problem” and it is thought to affect a large proportion

of the population. Jones (2001) found that 26% of 9000 American students had a

moderate to high levels of math anxiety, and according to Perry (2004) found

that 85% of students in introductory math classes claimed to experience at

least mild math anxiety.

According to Richardson and Suinn in 1972, “Mathematics

anxiety involves feelings of tension and anxiety that interfere with the

manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety

of ordinary life and academic situations.” According to Duffy and Furner in

2002. Many students, with and without

disabilities, do not feel confident in their ability to do the math. The most

intuitive definition of math anxiety is a fear of math. Quantiphobia (Goldberg

& Waxman, 2003), Mathophobia (Hilton, 1980), math phobia (Pan and Tang,

2005), and Mathematics Learning Distress (MALEI, 2006) are descriptive phrases

that represent the same phenomenon. Despite these variations, the majority of

researchers prefer the term Math anxiety.

Having Math Anxiety demands a lot

of attention. According to Perry (2004), 85% of students in introductory math

classes claimed that they have experienced mild math anxiety. Jackson and Leffingwell (1999) found that

only 7% of their 157 students did not have a stressful experience in their math

classes from kindergarten through high school. Forms of math anxiety range from

moderate test anxiety to extreme anxiety (Perry, 2004). “Mathophobia may be

compared with the loss of one of the primary senses” (Hilton, 1980). Extreme

anxiety can be debilitating inside the mathematics classroom. In Fall 2000, 22%

of entering freshman enrolled in remedial mathematics courses at institutions

of higher education (Parsad & Lewis, 2003), and the dropout rate in these

courses can be as high as 25% per semester, with only one of two students

completing remediation (McCabe, 2003). Often the passing rates in mathematics

classes at this level are below 50% (McCabe, 2003). Intelligent and determined

students often repeatedly fail their mathematics courses as a result of

anxiety. Math anxiety contributes to these dismal statistics, so math

instructors should mentor students to manage their math anxiety. The purpose of

this literature review is to explore strategies for reducing math anxiety.

According to a study by the College

of Arts and Sciences, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Batangas, mathematics

anxiety which can be extreme is often caused by having a negative attitude due

to a previous bad experience. Studies

show that one-half of all students in a developmental mathematics class suffer

forms of this type of anxiety. The good news is that a student can manage this

behavior but must learn to manage both the stress as well as improve the basic mathematical

skills.

According to Nordin (2008), teachers need to be

aware of the effects of anxiety on students’ achievement and motivation. They

should make an effort to lessen anxiety on these students. Teachers should

develop teaching strategies that help highly anxious students. The study

by Nordin investigated whether

there was a statistical

difference between

matriculation students’ motivation

and achievement when they

were classified according

to the math anxiety

levels. Further, that

study also sought

to find out

whether there was a

significant correlation between (a) mathematics anxiety and motivation, and (b)

mathematics anxiety and achievement.

While math anxiety still remains

a real issue affecting student performance and confidence, today it is even

more critical with the greater emphasis on producing more students for careers

in STEM fields. In an effort to understand ways to ease math anxiety and

encourage adaptive achievement behaviors to deal with such anxiety, this paper

will explore the topic and provide research-based practices in providing a solution

to this existing problem in our schools. There are many studies that show using

technology in the teaching of mathematics will help to alleviate math anxiety

and encourage students to enjoy learning mathematics.

As we search on,

we found out that according to Mindanao University of Science and Technology,

Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, that the mathematics education here

in the Philippines is now in a dilemma. It was shown that the low performance

of the students in the international and national assessment in mathematics

(TIMMS) and the National Achievement Test (NAT). The national performance of Fourth-year students in NAT from school

years 2004 to 2013 were all below the 75% standard criterion set by the Department

of education in terms of achievement level which is the national problem