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I recently came across the term "math trauma," which is similar to "math anxiety." They both describe how bad experiences with mathematics during one's education lead to "lasting adverse effects" on people's "functioning and well-being in the perceived presence of mathematics."

A webinar over math trauma held by math activist Dr. Kasi Allen had this slide in it:

For those wanting to read more and/or are curious where I got the info from, I recommend the article linked below.


[Pic ID: A powerpoint slide with the title, "End Traumatizing Traditions." The body of the slide are bullet points that read,

  • "One shot only" assessment

  • Grouping by "ability" ( "tracking" )

  • Using speed to measure understanding

  • Prioritizing individual work over collaboration

  • Telling students its OK not to be good at math

  • Teaching algorithms and tricks over problem solving and thinking

  • Focusing on answers rather than sound reasoning (product vs process)

  • Privileging one "right way" rather multiple pathways to one right answer

In a red box to the side of the bullet points, more text reads, "[These points] contribute to boredom and negativity as well as feelings of failure and inadequacy." End ID.]

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