The US can no longer laugh off the ‘bad at math’ mentality

British Prime Minister Rishi SunakWe recently announced an initiativeto reverse the “anti-mathematics” culture in his country. “We say, ‘Oh, math, I can’t do that, it’s not for me,’ and we all laugh,” he said Sunak. “But I never joke about being illiterate like that.”

Of course, he was talking about the plight of British children. But the problem is much worse in the US.most recentInternational rankings of students were made before the pandemic actually dropped their math grades.

Sunak captures the ubiquitous cultural predicament of the United States, where people are intellectually self-selecting, dividing themselves along the lines of “good at math” and “bad at math”, an accepted and There are norms that are acceptable. This process begins early in education, and once it solidifies in high school, people are more likely to define themselves in terms of numeracy for the rest of their lives, leading to career choices, wage potential, and upward mobility. It has a big impact on sex.

according toAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for math jobs in May 2021 was $98,680, and the national average across all occupations was $45,760.

Unfortunately, “I’m bad at math” or “I’m not a math person” are common sayings that have echoed with generations of Americans who have traversed the US public school system.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the financial sponsor of my organization, Collaborative for Student Success, frequently makes headlines for its work to prevent illness and improve health abroad.The Foundation puts considerable weight and resources behind programs to improve math education and performance here at home. with a $1 billion commitment.

insiderecent interviewBill Gates said, especially for children, “It’s very easy to check out math, very easy to think about. Okay, I’m not going to be a scientist, so I don’t need that.” , he further explained that to understand mathematics better is essentially to understand the world better. Trends are driven by mathematics.

He said a major focus for turning mathematics around in the United States is to transform the classroom experience so that children recognize the value of attention and make sure they can succeed, thereby He said it builds confidence and persistence in basic math skills.

Dreambox Learning CEO and interviewer Jessie Woolley-Wilson is committed to improving math instruction in the classroom, focusing on the 3 C’s: confidence, curiosity, and constant feedback to turn math around. We’ve expertly synthesized Gates’ solution to make it possible.

I wholeheartedly agree, and dare to say that the addition of three more “C’s” could accelerate that charge even further.

  • dedication:Much like Sunak’s very public announcement, the United States needs to work equally to reverse math apathy. Is numeracy part of the governor’s agenda? Does the state have a proactive, pragmatic K-12 strategy that encourages and empowers educational leaders in the classroom? Let’s give them a round of applause. If not, parents and students deserve to know why.
  • curriculum: Changing the classroom experience is more than a good textbook.It’s about providing teachers and students with great materials and educational approaches that engage them in understanding how mathematics manifests itself in the everyday world.Zahnanddream boxWe help thousands of teachers and students by making math more engaging. we need more.
  • Champions: It’s all too easy to reject math because it’s too hard and unnecessary for career success. Students and parents should hear out loud and often about the value of mathematics from people they admire: teachers, mentors, celebrities, and athletes. How has a better understanding of mathematics opened opportunities in their lives, made them stronger, made them more respected contributors to their team, and helped them secure better jobs and careers? falcon?

The downside of not addressing the problem of math education in the United States is serious. Millions of people are working to bridge the pay gap between the military, science and medical careers, non-scientific careers, and demographic groups, and enable America and all citizens to grow, thrive, and stay competitive. Is required.

Also, a country lacking basic math skills has a big downside for its citizens. Such groups are a precarious foundation for modern democracies — unable to distinguish between statistically-dependent false arguments and firm arguments, and therefore think critically about the public policy issues facing them. Not ready.

The old joke, “I don’t know how many problems you have because math is one of them,” succinctly emphasizes the difference between people who are good at math and people who are bad at it. Imagine the possibilities if we could eliminate that disparity, if we could revive curiosity and give all children more success in mathematics.

Jim Cowen is Executive Director of Collaborative for Student Success. Collaborative for Student Success is a non-profit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia, focused on promoting the use of quality educational materials to improve student learning.

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