“ Far too many students hate mathematics. As a result adults all over the world fear maths and avoid it at all costs. Mathematics plays a unique role in learning of most children – it is the subject that can make them feel both helpless and stupid.” Dr. Boaler, Stanford University.
Mathematics, more than any other subject, has the power to crush children’s confidence, and to deter them from learning important methods and tools for many years to come. The reasons are related to teaching methods that prevail in maths classrooms and the fixed ideas about mathematics held by many and passed on to their children from childhood. One of the most damaging mathematics myths propagated in classrooms and homes is that mathematics is a gift, that some people are naturally good at maths and some are not.
But things could be completely different and maths could be a source of great pleasure and confidence for people.
Most of the research on learning is published in academic journals, which are read by other academics and do not get to the people who need them most -student, parents and teachers. A large body of research on ways to teach and learn maths was not getting to teachers or being used in classrooms. If you walk into most mathematics classrooms, you would think you had been transported into the victorian age, the mathematics being taught is three-hundred-year old that is not needed in the modern world.
We have the research to change this and for classrooms to become places where all student are inspired by mathematics.