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How can we help build confidence in maths?

“When you have confidence, you can do anything.” – Sloane Stevens

We know that improving children’s confidence will help them learn (loads of research on this below), but how do we get there? Introducing, Numerise. We have worked really hard to design a product that can build learners’ confidence in maths at home. Listed below are a few of the ways Numerise achieves this (and there are more to come!)

  • Maths at the right level – learners choose the course and level they would like to work at so it is challenging and achievable for them. This helps maintain motivation and means that everyone can experience success in maths.
  • Clever content – our courses have been designed in a progressive, step-by-step way. So, they start with the basics and gradually work up to trickier topics. Maths anxiety often occurs when a learner has gaps in their knowledge; we identify these and help fill them in.
  • Automatic feedback – learners know straight away if they get a question right or wrong. And if they have made a mistake, we encourage them to retry the same question, with support from the help video, until they are successful. This makes sure that they don’t memorise the wrong way of doing something.
  • Help videos – there is a help video available for every type of question at every level (over 9,000 of them, in fact). And, we use a single method for each type of problem to make sure we don’t confuse anyone.
  • Achievements and goals – learners can set goals and collect achievement badges to keep them working hard and celebrate all of their hard work. And, they get their very own downloadable certificate when they finish a course.
  • Empower learners – learners not only select their own course and level, but they can work through the course at their own pace, see how they are doing over time, practise with tests and quizzes. Being in charge of their learning will undoubtedly boost their confidence.

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“Ever since I started using Numerise, I’ve been a lot more confident. It is just the right amount of work and it’s not too challenging and not too hard” – Numerise learner

Confidence plays a massive role in how well we perform, and maths is no exception. Having confidence in maths can not only make the work more enjoyable but it can also give us the resilience to keep going if we’re finding it tricky. But, on the flip side, a lack of confidence can severely hinder our learning, too.

The links between maths confidence and attainment have been shown in several studies, including some of our own research…

  • Learners who accurately believe in their ability in maths (self-confidence) tend to score higher in maths1, 2, 3, 4, 6.
  • However, under-confident or over-confident students tend to score lower at maths1, 3.
  • Children of parents who agree that it’s important to be good at maths in order to get a good job, tend to be more engaged at school, have greater drive and motivations and more positive self-beliefs1.
References
  1. OECD (2013), PISA 2012 Results: Ready to Learn: Students’ Engagement, Drive and Self-Beliefs (Volume III), PISA, OECD Publishing.
  2. Chiu, M. M., & Klassen, R. M. (2010). Relations of mathematics self-concept and its calibration with mathematics achievement: Cultural differences among fifteen-year-olds in 34 countries. Learning and Instruction, 20(1), 2–17.
  3. Sheldrake, R., Mujtaba, T., & Reiss, M. J. (2014). Calibration of self-evaluations of mathematical ability for students in England aged 13 and 15, and their intentions to study non-compulsory mathematics after age 16. International Journal of Educational Research, 64, 49–61.
  4. E. Gonida, A. Leondari (2011) Patterns of motivation among adolescents with biased and accurate self-efficacy beliefs International Journal of Educational Research, 50 (4), pp. 209-220, 10.1016/j.ijer.2011.08.002
  5. Maloney, E. A., Ramirez, G., Gunderson, E. A., Levine, S. C., & Beilock, S. L. (2015). Intergenerational effects of parents’ math anxiety on children’s math achievement and anxiety. Psychological Science, 26(9), 1480–1488.
  6. https://sparx.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Developing-Motivation-Questionnaire-BERA_2020.pdf