It is low mathematical maturity that causes crippling math anxiety in students. Unfortunately, math education that focuses on procedures and formulas stokes the problem. To develop mathematical maturity, students have to be encouraged to think about the concepts they learn. They have to be encouraged to ask themselves the questions that mathematicians often ask themselves: Why is this result true? Why does this procedure work? Can this problem be solved in a different way? Why is this result important? And so on.
The paragraph given states that "low mathematical maturity" is the reason for math anxiety in students. To develop mathematical maturity, students have to be encouraged to think about and question the concepts they learn.
Now, of the given options, it is easy to rule out A and D. Option A talks of how mathematical maturity will serve students in life. This goes beyond the scope of the given paragraph. Option D talks of what good mathematics education should achieve. This is not related to the main idea of the paragraph.
Options B and C are close contenders. B sums up the key idea of the paragraph: to learn mathematical maturity, students have to be encouraged to actively engage with the subject. On the other hand, C seems to fit in smoothly with the last few lines of the paragraph, which talk of the kind of thinking that helps to develop mathematical maturity. However, unlike B, which is more to the point, C argues that failing to develop the right kind of thinking can make mathematics seems "purely mechanical and disconnected from real life". The application of maths to real life is an idea that is unrelated to the given paragraph. Also, C does not touch upon the key idea of mathematical maturity, which is the focus of the paragraph. Considering this, we see that B is a better choice than C to complete the given paragraph.
Correct Answer: Choice (B)
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