math for adults

Are you looking for information about math for adults? As reported in Overcoming Math Anxiety (1978, 1993, 2nd edition) in 600 interviews with college-age and older returning students, Sheila Tobias found three significant variables in her subjects' inability to do college-level mathematics: fear of mathematics, the conviction that mathematics is a white male domain, and the conviction that one is either good in mathematics or in language arts but never both. The students' lack of coping skills in dealing with mathematics classes and with their own anxieties appeared to be the main barrier to their attempting mathematics one more time. Subsequently, Tobias focused her research on entering college students. Her second book, Succeed With Math: Every Student's Guide to Conquering Math Anxiety (1987) was commissioned by the College Board. What follows is a selection of excerpts from that book.

Math Anxiety

Two myths about mathematics need to be put to rest. One is that college-level mathematics is too difficult for otherwise intelligent students to master. Another is that without mathematics anyone can live a productive intellectual and professional life.

Mathematics is no longer just an entry-level prerequisite for engineering, the physical sciences, and statistics. Its principles and techniques, along with computers, have become part of almost all areas of work, and its logic is used in thinking about almost everything.

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