End Math Struggles with NLP
April 10th, 2013 by Tony Barlow
When people contact me online via Skype, or in person at my 1-2-1 sessions in the UAE, I often hear the following comments:
“I have a fear of numbers”
“I hate Math”
“I don’t have a Math type brain”
“My daughter is doing fine in school apart from Math”
“I’m just about to enter university and I’m scared that I won’t be able to handle the math”
Since I get so many requests for help with Math I thought I would write this article to explain some of the reasons I have found as to why some people struggle with Math and what the solutions are using NLP.
My approach using NLP is to look at what’s going on inside a persons thinking process, how they think about math and what the person does inside their mind when they are learning math is what is producing the poor result you see on the outside.
When you change what a person is doing INSIDE their mind, you can change their math ability !
IN THIS ARTICLE
- Why maths tutoring may not work
- The NLP approach – ‘Modeling Excellence’
- The top 4 reasons students struggle with math
- Mental strategies of top math students
THE TYPICAL SOLUTION? – GET A MATHS TUTOR
Having a math tutor is the obvious solution for students math issues, but in some cases this does not solve the problem. Especially if you have no idea how to think about math in a way that works.
More practice without changing how you use your mind, will help only a little.
THERE IS ANOTHER WAY – MODELING EXCELLENT MATH STUDENTS
The NLP ‘Modeling Excellence’ approach that I take goes like this.
-Find students who love math, find it easy and are getting successful results without to much effort.
-Uncover what their attitudes and beliefs about math are and their internal mental processes while they are learning math.
-Teach students who struggle with math how to think like an excellent math student.
Students who excel in math have a way of thinking about math that allows them to understand what they are doing and memorize the methods and formulas.
THE TOP FOUR REASONS STUDENTS STRUGGLE WITH MATH
- Students who struggle almost always do not have a good mental strategy to learn,understand and practice new math concepts and terminology. So when it comes to exam time instead of understanding what they are doing they simply guess at what calculations to make in a random hit or miss way.
- Students who struggle in math do not have a good mental strategy for learning their math facts. Times tables, basic addition, subtraction that should be automatic and unconscious is still a tedious and slow process.
This is very easy to correct and usually takes no more that 2 weeks to catch up on these basic facts once the student is using an effective mental strategy.
- Some students have developed Negative Beliefs about their ability to learn math well. “I’m not good at Math”, “I’m not a math type of person” etc. These beliefs come from continually failing at the subject. These type of beliefs if left uncorrected will often completely block any attempt to improve their abilities.
- Some students have been traumatized towards learning math because of past bad experiences such as another person/teacher telling them they are useless at math. Failing badly in tests etc.
These students will automatically go into a bad mood/state even at the mention of the word ‘Math’ which of course blocks their ability to learn or perform well and needs to be corrected.
MENTAL STRATEGIES OF TOP MATH STUDENTS
- Students who do well in math typically have a good mental strategy when they are learning new math concepts. They often visualize a new concept in their mind in a way that allows them to understand and remember the concepts and terminology easily.
- They have fully memorized their math facts such as times tables, addition, subtraction to an unconscious level in other words they don’t need to think to much about the answer to 9×7=, 7+8=, the correct answer just pops into their mind because it is no longer a conscious process.
- Because they have good mental strategies that work for learning math. These students have seen lots of evidence to show that they are good at maths therefore their attitudes and beliefs towards math are positive.
HOW TO TEACH ANY STUDENT TO THINK LIKE A MATH WHIZ
This is where the wonderful technology of NLP comes in. NLP allows you to uncover the thought process of students who are struggling in math and then teach them much better ways of using their mind so they can be successful.
There are 2 things a student needs to excel in Math.
- Math facts such as times tables and simple mental calculations need to be unconscious and fast. Some students never learn their math facts properly and it drags them down and makes everything slower.
- An effective mental strategy for memorizing and understanding new math concepts and formulas.
Most of the mental strategies I teach students in order to improve their math abilities come from a lady who was a ‘Math Genius’, She won awards for Math throughout her school life and had a way of memorizing concepts and formulas the first time the teacher explained them or the first time she read them in the book and she ‘had it’ from then on.
If you are interested in knowing more please leave a comment below as to what area of Math you or your child are having difficulty with and I’ll write a reply giving more specific steps to take.