This is a topic that I have always been interested in but the format of this forum is difficult to maneuver in but I will try.
I think the reason that students hate math is because it is poorly taught. You begin to hate something that you don?t understand; you start to fear it.
The main reason that it is poorly taught is because it is taught by teachers that don't understand math. Math is more than manipulating numbers. I struggled with math but after College I wondered why? I came to the conclusion that I didn't understand the basic concepts of mathematics.
Mathematics is all about relationships. For most students, the confusion begins with fractions. In order to understand fractions you have to understand the concept of a ratio, a proportion and an equality. How these concepts are similar and how they are different.
Equality is often confused with Sameness. You are looking for relationships. The concept of equality can be very ambiguous and confusing. The student gets lost; they don't see the bigger picture. So I believe that the concept of proportion never gets fully understood. Without understanding proportions, you just cannot understand Mathematics.
I also believe that Art and Math should be taught together. Art will help students to understand form. Art will help them to mentally visualize better. Art will help to make Math more fun and meaningful. Art and Math are both about relationships and working towards completeness. The concept of working towards a whole and seeing that bigger picture.
Geometry should be much more emphasized in the early years. Unfortunately, it is generally taught by those that do not appreciate its beauty because they don't really understand it.
I was always fascinated by Rhoda Kellogg's work with young children. She understands. Children learn by a natural geometric progression if we allow them. Mathematics is in nature. And we are part of nature. Man has learned mathematics by observing nature. I cringe when I hear people say that Mathematics is not meaningful. It embodies our whole existence.