Why Do Many People Hate Mathematics?
I am always taken aback by how much people hate Maths. I have been told by more and more people more recently than ever before. Now, whether that’s a coincidence with the time it was, I don’t know. I was also recently in the States and the number of people that told me how much they loathe Maths was mind-numbing. Although I’ve always known this, I just did not think it was this bad. I started to put myself into their shoes and started trying to understand why exactly and seriously think more about this subject and how it can stop being hated and abhorred on such a horrific, mass level. I quote Wain in my forthcoming book I’m writing who since as far back as almost 20 years ago said:
…“many intelligent people after an average of 1500 hours of instruction over eleven years of schooling, still regard Mathematics as a meaningless activity for which they have no aptitude…it is difficult to imagine how a subject could have achieved for itself such an appalling image as it now has in the popular mind … to think that all our effort has led to a situation of fear and loathing is depressing”.
I tried to get into their minds and put my bias for Maths love aside. The following reasons came up for why people hate Maths:
- As human beings, we hate something when we feel we don’t know what we’re doing and if it makes us not feel smart.
- We do not like being put out of our comfort zone at all, not once, let alone continually; and that’s what Maths classes and Maths work do to people who don’t enjoy it.
- We hate not to feel in control, especially when we have no choice but to do something that we do not get an improving feeling about, or a feeling of mastery over. That’s a very important one.
- The idea that we will always meet Maths in future and everywhere we go and the fact that it is fundamentally part of our daily lives. Yet we do not feel we understand it.
- We hate to continually do things we feel are no use for us in future, things we don’t enjoy doing.
- We hate to constantly make mistakes or constantly get things wrong. If we don’t focus on the ultimate result, it can lead to a feeling of rejection.
- We have bad childhood memories of Maths classes and Maths teachers.
- We are afraid to be ‘shown up’ or ‘found out’ by others when we are not confident about Maths problems we do.
If you loathe Maths or find that you cringe at the thought or sight of Maths, it is important to get some help. There are key benefits to getting comfortable with Maths. Although I understand how you feel, I recommend you get help and fix the problem. The National Numeracy charity www.nnchallenge.org.uk specifically helps adults increase their numeracy skills and get confident with Maths. It’s a very easy process and also free. They are glad to help and their site is very friendly.
Please leave me a comment! How can I help you? If you need any help please send me a message and I will be glad to help in any way I can or point you to valuable resources I recommend.