There are many reasons for this disconnect, the core being the redundancy of conventional teaching (Source: PTI)

Cuemath, an after school live-class program in Math, published its findings of a survey report which reveals that around 82% of students between Grade 7 -10 fear math. The survey explored students' confidence in their math abilities, proficiency, correlation between perception of math and performance and how boys outperform girls across higher grades.

Grade 7 students are in the warm-up phase for high school. However, their fear of math continues as they progress to higher classes. The correlation between perception of Math and performance becomes more significant in higher grades. In Grade 7, one in seven students have negative perceptions about Math concepts, and need additional intervention, whereas this number increases to one in four in Grade 10. With a sample size of 1,600 non-Cuemath students, the survey showed an increasing disconnect between students and their learning of mathematics.

There are many reasons for this disconnect, the core being the redundancy of conventional teaching. Moreover, home schooling during the pandemic has added to student woes and resulted in loss of interest and fear of mathematics at a crucial point in their lives.

Speaking on the survey findings, Manan Khurma, First Teacher, and Founder CEO, Cuemath said, "Cuemath believes every child can develop their own sense of comfort for math. This can be achieved by incorporating innovative methods of teaching. Knowing the 'why' behind applying a formula makes problem solving easier for a growing child. With conventional teaching, it becomes difficult for students to move up the grade ladder and their confidence deteriorates because their foundation remains weak. There is a vital need for newer, more innovative teaching models that can promote intuitive learning. At Cuemath, we aim to make that very foundation solid enough to tackle most difficult math equations and create problem solvers of tomorrow."

Some of the key highlights from the survey report are:

Math proficiency decreases in higher classes

Nearly 6 out of 10 students of Grade 7 seem to be proficient in basic math concepts such as numbers, applied Math, algebra, geometry and mensuration. However, this drops down to above a third of all students in Grade 8. Grade 7 students are inclined and enthusiastic towards Math but their motivation levels drop as they move towards higher classes. Board exams add to the pressure and fear of math, possibly making 10th graders perform worse than 9th graders by 6 percentage points. The confidence levels of students in Grade 10 drop by 11% compared to grade 7.

Fear for Math continues

82% of the students surveyed across Grade 7-10 are fearful of Math. Only 2 in 10 students were confident about their math ability; this is supported by the drop in persistence to solve math problems by nearly 14 percentage points (From 23% in grade 7 to 9%in grade 10). This could be due to challenging concepts and rudimentary ways of teaching.

Grade 9-10 students have low self-belief about math ability

Grade 7-9 students find algebra and mensuration difficult, and geometry adds to their worries in Grade 10. For grade 8 students, applied math (37.10%) keeps them awake at night. Surprisingly, it is seen that grades 7-8 find the magic in numbers attractive and fun (getting 3 out of 4 questions correct) and as they move to senior classes. This translates into their fondness for statistics and applied math (getting 3 out of 4 questions correct).

Boys vs Girls

Boys outperform girls across grades, but it is most pronounced from Grade 8 to 10. In grades 7 and 8, girls seem to be more confident, which deteriorates as they move to higher grades (9 and 10). For boys, their confidence is consistent across all grades, despite their performance.

Cuemath, an after school live-class program in Math, published its findings of a survey report which reveals that around 82% of students between Grade 7 -10 fear math. The survey explored students' confidence in their math abilities, proficiency, correlation between perception of math and performance and how boys outperform girls across higher grades.

Grade 7 students are in the warm-up phase for high school. However, their fear of math continues as they progress to higher classes. The correlation between perception of Math and performance becomes more significant in higher grades. In Grade 7, one in seven students have negative perceptions about Math concepts, and need additional intervention, whereas this number increases to one in four in Grade 10. With a sample size of 1,600 non-Cuemath students, the survey showed an increasing disconnect between students and their learning of mathematics.

There are many reasons for this disconnect, the core being the redundancy of conventional teaching. Moreover, home schooling during the pandemic has added to student woes and resulted in loss of interest and fear of mathematics at a crucial point in their lives.

Speaking on the survey findings, Manan Khurma, First Teacher, and Founder CEO, Cuemath said, "Cuemath believes every child can develop their own sense of comfort for math. This can be achieved by incorporating innovative methods of teaching. Knowing the 'why' behind applying a formula makes problem solving easier for a growing child. With conventional teaching, it becomes difficult for students to move up the grade ladder and their confidence deteriorates because their foundation remains weak. There is a vital need for newer, more innovative teaching models that can promote intuitive learning. At Cuemath, we aim to make that very foundation solid enough to tackle most difficult math equations and create problem solvers of tomorrow."

Some of the key highlights from the survey report are:

Math proficiency decreases in higher classes

Nearly 6 out of 10 students of Grade 7 seem to be proficient in basic math concepts such as numbers, applied Math, algebra, geometry and mensuration. However, this drops down to above a third of all students in Grade 8. Grade 7 students are inclined and enthusiastic towards Math but their motivation levels drop as they move towards higher classes. Board exams add to the pressure and fear of math, possibly making 10th graders perform worse than 9th graders by 6 percentage points. The confidence levels of students in Grade 10 drop by 11% compared to grade 7.

Fear for Math continues

82% of the students surveyed across Grade 7-10 are fearful of Math. Only 2 in 10 students were confident about their math ability; this is supported by the drop in persistence to solve math problems by nearly 14 percentage points (From 23% in grade 7 to 9%in grade 10). This could be due to challenging concepts and rudimentary ways of teaching.

Grade 9-10 students have low self-belief about math ability

Grade 7-9 students find algebra and mensuration difficult, and geometry adds to their worries in Grade 10. For grade 8 students, applied math (37.10%) keeps them awake at night. Surprisingly, it is seen that grades 7-8 find the magic in numbers attractive and fun (getting 3 out of 4 questions correct) and as they move to senior classes. This translates into their fondness for statistics and applied math (getting 3 out of 4 questions correct).

Boys vs Girls

Boys outperform girls across grades, but it is most pronounced from Grade 8 to 10. In grades 7 and 8, girls seem to be more confident, which deteriorates as they move to higher grades (9 and 10). For boys, their confidence is consistent across all grades, despite their performance.

The Cuemath survey reinforces the fact 'The gender gap in performance is a worrying trend which can unfairly affect the future lives of millions of girls and dampen their aspirations.' However, the Cuemath Curriculum tries to bridge the gender divide by citing appropriate contexts and examples in their curriculum (Showing girls and boys outperforming each other in different situations or outnumbering each other in classrooms so that inferences leaning towards stereotypes cannot be drawn) and training teachers to develop a growth mindset. In addition to this, they have girl students who have made successful apps that add value to a human's life.

The survey was conducted by Cuemath in June 2021 with a sample size of 1600 students.

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Published on: Jul 14, 2021, 3:25 PM IST

Posted by: Vinay Rai, Jul 14, 2021, 3:07 PM IST

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