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The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'

The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'
“I’m just not a math person.” We hear it all the time. And we’ve had enough. Because we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably are a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. Worse, you may be helping to perpetuate a pernicious myth that is harming underprivileged children—the myth of inborn genetic math ability. Is math ability genetic? How do we know this? Different kids with different levels of preparation come into a math class. Thus, people’s belief that math ability can’t change becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The idea that math ability is mostly genetic is one dark facet of a larger fallacy that intelligence is mostly genetic. A body of research on conceptions of ability has shown two orientations toward ability. You have a certain amount of intelligence, and you really can’t do much to change it. The results? So why do we focus on math? 1.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/10/the-myth-of-im-bad-at-math/280914/

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The Myth of Being ‘Bad’ at Math – Aspen Ideas – Medium Advances in neuroscience are revolutionizing our approach to education, and they have particularly weighty implications for the way we teach math. They challenge our basic assumptions about the subject, some of which have discouraged a lot of students from sticking with it. The most popular and damaging of these assumptions has been that some people can do math and others just can’t. Parents believe it, some teachers believe it, and soon enough, the students believe it too. Luckily, the evidence against this notion is piling up, thanks to recent discoveries about human brain plasticity. Some of you might have taken one of London’s famous black cabs, but you may not know how qualified the drivers are. When Emotional Intelligence Goes Wrong “People skills” are almost always assumed to be a good thing. Search employment ads and you will find them listed as a qualification for a startling array of jobs, including Applebee’s host, weight-loss specialist, CEO, shoe salesperson, and (no joke) animal-care coordinator. The notion that people smarts might help you succeed got a boost a quarter century ago, when the phrase emotional intelligence, or EI, entered the mainstream. Coined in a 1990 study [1], the term was popularized by Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book [2]. Since then, scores of researchers have shown how being in touch with feelings—both your own and other people’s—gives you an edge: compared with people who have average EI, those with high EI do better at work [3], have fewer health problems [4], and report greater life satisfaction [5].

5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students My first year teaching a literacy coach came to observe my classroom. After the students left, she commented on how I asked the whole class a question, would wait just a few seconds, and then answer it myself. "It's cute," she added. Is Algebra Necessary? My question extends beyond algebra and applies more broadly to the usual mathematics sequence, from geometry through calculus. State regents and legislators — and much of the public — take it as self-evident that every young person should be made to master polynomial functions and parametric equations. There are many defenses of algebra and the virtue of learning it. Most of them sound reasonable on first hearing; many of them I once accepted.

'I'm Not A Math Person' Is No Longer A Valid Excuse REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko Contrary to popular opinion, a natural ability in math will only get you so far in studies of the subject. Research published in Child Development found that hard work and good study habits were the most important factor in improving math ability over time. But bad attitudes about math are holding us back. Most of us would never think that "I'm bad at reading," is a good excuse to stop taking English classes, so why is it ok, even normal, to say "I'm bad at math"?

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JUMP Math Philosophy What's at the heart of the JUMP Math program. JUMP Math is dedicated to helping children succeed at, and enjoy, learning math. JUMP is aware that there is a strong causal link between a child's academic success and his or her future contribution to society. We strive to increase children’s chances of success, to reduce socio-economic disparities, to engender a sense of belonging and, most importantly, to endow voiceless children with opportunity. There are several core beliefs at the foundation of the JUMP Math philosophy:

Quit Saying ‘I’m Just Not a Math Person’ It started with a fairly simple problem. The class of elementary education majors were looking at energy and efficiency. This course is specifically designed to help these students get a basic understanding of the nature of science (using the awesome Physics and Everyday Thinking curriculum). Since the goal is to look at science, we don’t have too much math in the course. However, in this case students were trying to find the power needed such that a fluorescent lightbulb would have the same brightness as an incandescent bulb. In essence, this gives the students a word problem.

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Girls Aren't Good At Math Girls aren’t good at math. Left-handed people aren’t good at math. Athletic people aren’t good at math. Pick a demographic and there is likely a stereotype about whether or not they are good at math.

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