LEARNING STYLES AND MATH ANXIETY: A SURVEY OF THE LITERATURE

J. Gilbert

San Bernardino Valley College (UNITED STATES)
Math anxiety can begin as early as the fourth grade, peak in middle and high school, persist into college and even follow students into their careers. While it is not entirely known what the causes of math anxiety are, instruction that does not address varying learning styles can certainly contribute to it. This review of current literature begins by examining some of the causes and symptoms of math anxiety, including past classroom experience, parental or peer influences, and feeling anxious during exams. This is followed by an overview of sensory learners (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) along with ways to address such learners in a mathematics classroom. Beyond this, how learning styles in general can be supported in a mathematics class is discussed, such as humanizing the teacher and providing alternate methods of evaluation. Finally, how accommodating different learning styles factors into lessening a student’s anxiety over math is considered.