Factors Affecting the Mathematics and numeracy

Learning Mathematics



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Introduction. 1

Personal factors. 1

Social factors. 2

Public perceptions. 3

Conclusion. 3




            Acquisition of numeracy has been an issue that has attracted a lot or research .The research is mostly aimed at finding out the personal and social factors that affect the acquisition of numeracy as well as the impact the public or popular perceptions of mathematics on a learner. The paper will look at some of the social and personal factors that might have an impact of the acquisition of numeracy. It will also look at the popular perceptions that influence a learner when it comes to studying mathematics.

Personal factors

There are several personal factors that might affect an individual’s acquisition of numeracy one of them is a parent’s education level. Parents are role models when it comes to the academic achievement of a person. Acquisition of numeracy is particularly influenced by the beliefs that are held by an individual’s parents regarding mathematics. If parents have negative attitude towards mathematics then there is no way that they can offer positive encouragement to their children pertaining the subject.this is mainly influenced by the education attainment of the parents, if the parents did not perform well in the subject then there is no way that they can create a home environment that will have positive impact on the learning as well as achievement of the children when it comes to numeracy acquisition (Dimakos,Tyrlis, & Spyros, 2012).

An individual’s attitude towards the subject can also affect their acquisition of numeracy. If a person has a negative attitude towards mathematics there is no way they can perform well since they have no interest in the subject. Theywill often skip lectures, not do any takes given to them simply because they lack the motivation and interest in the subject. This will lead to little or no acquisition of numeracy by an individual. An individual might also lack arithmetic ability this includes skills like manipulation of their mathematics knowledge and concepts so as to transform their meanings and hence know how they can apply them. This ability enables a student to interpret, synthesize, analyze or even hypothesize the ideas of mathematics. Without this ability an individual’s acquisition of numeracy can affected (White,2011).Motivation and concentration is also a very key factor when it comes to numeracy acquisition, this is because it requires a lot of reasoning, interpretations and coming up with solutions to problems using mathematics concepts. If a person lacks motivation and does not concentrate then they will not be able to understand anything that pertains to mathematics.

Social factors

Social economic factors have an influence on an individual’s numeracy acquisition. Studies show that parents that have a high economic status get more involved with the education of their children. They take them to the best schools where they get the adequate attention that they need when it comes to educational requirements. This means that the children in high income families get the best in terms of education and therefore increasing their numeracy acquisition.

Within the society there are beliefs that have been set regarding learning mathematics. This includes the fact that society perceives mathematics as subject that is only meant for boys. This leads to lack of interest and motivation among the girl child. This is because they do not want to go against the set beliefs in the society. Girls end up shying off from the subject as they belief that it is only meant for the boys. This notion affects the numeracy acquisition among the girls (Azar,2010).

Public perceptions

Most people hold the belief that mathematics is basically computation. This has led to the public viewing mathematics as something veryhard. This negative perception that the public has on mathematics can have an influence a learner. This is because many people value people’s opinions. Therefore, if most people view mathematics as a very hard subjects then the mathematics learners will be influenced and put it in their minds that mathematics is a very hard subject. Due to this negative perception that is created the learners do not show any interest in mathematics and hence lack of understanding which leads to poor performance in the subject (Saritas,&Akdemir, 2009).


It should be noted that mathematics is not all about computation; computation in mathematics is just a tool that is used for understanding structures, therelationships and the patterns of concepts in mathematics. Therefore mathematics can be used to solve various life problems which are often complex. With a change in attitudes, beliefs and public perception there will be an increase in numeracy acquisition among many learners.



Azar,B. (2010).Gender + culture=gender gap. Retrieved April 29, 2013 from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2010/07-08/gender-gap.aspx

Dimakos, G., Tyrlis, L., & Spyros, F. (2012).Factors that influence students to do mathematics. Retrieved April 29, 2013 from http://elib.mi.sanu.ac.rs/files/journals/tm/28/tm1514.pdf

Holmes, E.E. (2012).Gender and Mathematics learning.Retrieved April 29, 2013 from http://www.education.com/reference/article/gender-mathematics-learning/

Mohamed, Z.G&Lazim, A. (2012).The Factors Influence Students’ Achievement in

Mathematics: A Case for Libyan’s Students. Retrieved April 29,2013 fromhttp://idosi.org/wasj/wasj17(9)12/21.pdf

Saritas, A &Akdemir, O. (2009).Identifying Factors Affecting the Mathematics Achievement of Students for Better Instructional Design. Retrieved April 29, 2013 from http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Dec_09/article03.htm

White, K. (2011).Psychological factors that affect students trying to learn math. Retrieved April 29,2013 from http://www.ehow.com/about_5459953_psychological-students-trying-learn-math.html




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