Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Helen:

I am a professional female in my 30's with an continued fear of maths, particularly mental arithmetic. I've been able to keep my 'secret' hidden until now but I dread that one day I'll be found out. More importantly, it is preventing me for applying for promotion where I know maths will be required. I've tried many times on my own to overcome this but soon get frustrated. Therefore, I've been searching the internet to find short (up to one month) courses specifically addressed to alleviating my fears and hopefully teach me maths again in a way that I can remember and not get flustered. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find anything at least not for adults. I would be wiling to take a long vacation to attend this type of course, or tutoring, in any country.
I'd much appreciate any pointers.
Thanking you in advance,


I think the place to look - where such experiences would be shared, is in some programs designed for future elementary teachers. These are people who typically dropped math as soon as they could (with experiences that some math educators identify as 'cognitive bullying and low-level social violence' - you do not belong in a math course!). They now have to prepare to teach math at least at the elementary grades.

Several universities have courses for such people - and you may find some that are not restricted to 'teachers'. The other route - perhaps scary - would be to find a place where you can be trained as a tutor working with younger children on math. Teaching, doing it again in multiple ways, has been effective for some people in your situation. (E.g. see the book of John Mighton.)

Walter Whiteley


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