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Dr. Marzita Puteh, Professor
Mathematics Department, Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia
Biography: Dr. Marzita Puteh was born in Malacca, Malaysia and had her early education in an English primary school. She then further had her secondary school education in a fully boarding school and later was awarding a full scholarship to study abroad. She took his Bachelor’s degree (University of Reading, UK) in 1983 majoring in Mathematics. In 1992, she obtained her Master in Education and her Ph.D in 1999 from University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. She is currently a professor at Mathematics Department, Sultan Idris Education University. Her research interest is in the affective domain of teaching and learning mathematics and focusing on mathematics anxiety. Currently her recent research is looking into the use of various types software and technology in promoting the learning of mathematics. She is a competent, efficient and resourceful researcher with enviable research outputs such as articles, monographs, chapters in several books, and academic books. Published several textbooks for the use of the primary schools in Malaysia ranging from Primary Year 1 up to Primary Year 6. She had also translated and published several books pertaining to mathematics and teaching and learning mathematics.
Topic: Mathematics Anxiety, The Need to Overcome It!
Abstract: It is of great importance of having one’s confidence with mathematics in order to compete globally in a high-tech world that relies very heavily on mathematics, science, and technology. This paper details in depth the affective domains of learning mathematics. They range from a complex interplay of experiences of learning mathematics, teachers’ personality and style of teaching, examination pressures, to the differing attitudes formed by students. Evidence for these attitudes are organised into four components: their perceptions of mathematics, their self-image with regard to mathematics, their feelings about mathematics, and their behaviours towards mathematics. These attitudes are preponderantly negative and students show a high degree of anxiety when faced with what they perceive to be difficult mathematical problem and are confused, inhibited and unable to think clearly. The author strongly believes that the affective domain is an issue that needs to be addressed as it has strong implications on students’ attitudes towards learning of mathematics and on the anxiety. This paper reviews the literature on mathematics anxiety and in addition, it is geared toward educators in hope that they can ultimately excite children about mathematics, encouraging students to be confident in their ability to solve problems, understand mathematical concepts, and see mathematics as a human endeavor. The ideas shared in this paper, based on a number of researches on mathematics anxiety, have been applied and shared with teachers and students. Mathematics anxiety has become a growing concern in Malaysia as well as many other countries around the world. A young person’s ability and confidence to do mathematics is critical for their future success in our high-tech globally competitive world.