Tunisian 15-year-olds are the most math-phobic, writes Matt Phillips in The Atlantic. Argentina, Brazil and Thailand are next on the “math anxiety” list compiled by the OECD as part of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests.
U.S. students are less anxious than the OECD average, though not as math-mellow as the Danes and the Dutch.
In the high-scoring Asian countries, there’s no particular pattern. Japanese kids are anxious, Singapore is moderately anxious, Shanghai is a hair above the median.
“Combining a manageable amount of worry” with perseverance and a strong work ethic seems to work the best, according to an OECD analysis.