Glenville State University Math Faculty Present Workshop at Conference
Mon Apr 17, 2023
Glenville State University mathematics faculty members Robert Regalado (left) and Brooke Fincham recently presented a workshop related to mathematics anxiety during the annual West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics meeting. (GSU Photo/Dustin Crutchfield)


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GLENVILLE, WV – Two Glenville State University faculty members recently held a workshop during the 75th West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (WVCTM). Lecturer of Mathematics Brooke Fincham and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education Robert Regalado organized and presented the workshop entitled “Mathematics Anxiety: What Can Educators Do?”

Participants of the workshop learned about several factors that contribute to mathematics anxiety. Fincham and Regalado say their goal was to help bring awareness to mathematics anxiety and provide possible intervention strategies that have been explored and supported by psychological and educational scholarship.

“When I began teaching full time, I watched my students showcase negative self-talk and low self-confidence/self-efficacy. I wanted to know what I could do in my classroom to promote positive self-talk, growth mindsets, and a curiosity for learning without the fear of making a mistake,” Fincham said. “I hope that the educators who attended our workshop will return to their institutions and implement anxiety reduction practices to better support their students.”

Regalado says he can relate to students who have mathematics anxiety because he has experienced it too. “I remember feeling pressured to answer math problems with time restrictions in middle school. It wasn’t until I entered high school that I had a teacher who made mathematics accessible to me. She pushed me to think deeply about the content, thereby allowing me to reason through the mathematics, rather than focus on my anxiety around solving problems. I saw my interest in mathematics explode with excitement and curiosity because I was provided a safe space to do so,” he explained.

Regalado added that educators can easily implement several of the strategies that were covered in their WVCTM workshop, including conducting a mathematics anxiety assessment, mitigate anxiety by allowing students to keep a mathematics journal where they can outline their feelings toward mathematics and the concepts they are exploring, and incorporating writing in the classroom so students can express how they feel about the math content they’re covering.

Both agree that students should be able to learn from their mistakes and be taught to think deeply by engaging in rich mathematical tasks.

The WVCTM conference took place at Stonewall Resort on March 17-18 and included 90 sessions throughout the weekend focused on mathematics and mathematics education. The theme of this year’s conference was “Once Upon a Math Problem.”