AP Annual Conference Submission
As educators, it is critical to recognize that learning is an emotional experience as much as it is an intellectual one. Though learning mathematics and science can be exciting, student anxiety can impede the process. Teachers can encourage STEM education by stressing the learning of new skills – reasoning, synthesizing, problem-solving, etc., but students should feel that these skills are within their ability and reach. It is imperative that educators understand that anxious students who solely have the “memorization skill” do not possess a successful formula to conquer their anxiety in mathematics and science. We must use other ways to lead students to success as we help them talk about and decrease their anxiety. Using performance tasks (i.e. FRQs) can be an essential assessment for learning, but when used as a teaching tool, these tasks can reduce student anxiety and bring awareness to emotions only affecting assessment performance or also affecting knowledge and skill development.