- If you're good at math, math problems can be solved in a relatively short amount of time.
- People do not solve math problems for fun; they do it for school, for their job, or to balance their checkbook.
- Every math problem has been solved by someone.
- Math is about numbers.
- Math is a language to describe the world.
- If you are good at math, you are smart.
- If you can do computations accurately and quickly, you are good at math.
- People who are good at math are eccentric and/or not socially adept.
- Boys are good at math.
- Asians are good at math.
- There can only be one correct answer.
- If I don't know how to solve a homework problem, I must be doing something wrong.
- Math topics/classes are sequential; I need to understand A before I can learn B.
- It is socially acceptable to say you're bad at math.
- Math is more analytical than creative.
- Using a procedure correctly to get the right answer is more important than understanding why the procedure works
- With current technology, arithmetic is not important.
- To be an engineer, you need to be computationally strong.
- Math is a gatekeeper.
- The value of math is in its connection to real world applications.
- Math teachers sleep under their desk at school.

## Friday, September 17, 2010

### Beliefs and Attitudes about Mathematics

What beliefs and attitudes about mathematics do you see in your students, in society, in the media, and elsewhere? Try and think of both positive and negative beliefs and attitudes. These can be beliefs that you agree or disagree with. I'll start with a few, but please add your own in the comments.

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I'm only in the very early stages of a midlife career change into math education, so take these for what they're worth:

ReplyDelete• That math is an entirely left brain activity. I guess that relates to "analytic vs. creative," but is a little more encompassing (for example, detail oriented vs. holistic).

• That you only get one chance to "get it" and if you don't get it then, you're hosed.

• If you like math, you can't also like sports or art.

• That there's only one way to learn math.

In my experience, these are mostly adult attitudes toward math, based on friends I have that are taking supplemental math classes as part of college humanities degrees.

•If you like math, you are boring.

ReplyDelete•Math isn't fun; it's work.

•Ideas in math should come easily; if you don't understand them right away, then you shouldn't bother.

•If you work hard, you can be good at math.

•Math = computations. Anything else isn't "real math".

•Math people like doing calculations (so they'll gladly split the bill at happy hour).

Great blog, Avery!

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- Math is not a religion.

ReplyDelete- Math is only good for finding truth in mathematics systems.

- Math is a human endeavor.

- Math is what mathematicians do.

Well, as a computer science teaching assistant I did sleep under my desk from time to time

ReplyDelete"Using a procedure correctly to get the right answer is more important than understanding why the procedure works"

ReplyDeleteThis is something I am constantly confronted with in every one of my classes from Algebra 1 through IB HL year 2. It's one of my greatest frustrations and the recipient of most of my planning and thought cycles.

If there could ever be a magic bullet to solve this one I'd buy a whole carton. But that's just it, learning is such an individual and dynamic process that there could never be just one solution to such a problem.

Only 30 more years until retirement... I think I still have time to work on this one.

If you're interesting in reading more about society's perception of what it means to be good at math, check out Research in Practice's post about "The Talent Lie"

ReplyDeleteHow about these?

ReplyDelete- The answer is the most important thing in math. When a question asks us to estimate and then calculate we skip the 'estimate' part.

- Math thinking stops as we walk through the classroom door into the 'real-world'.

- Math is an individual activity, done in isolation.

- Speed is important.

- If we can't solve a problem in a few minutes we can't do it so we might as well give up.

- I like it when the teacher tells us what to do and gives us notes. Then rest of the class is practice time.

- I take lots of notes in math class. If we don't take notes we haven't done much.

- Only certain people are successful in mathematics.

- I like filling in worksheets because I feel productive when everything is complete. The more questions, the better.

- We only use pencil and paper in math. When we use manipulatives it is because we aren't getting it.

Cathy reminded me of another one:

ReplyDelete-The math we do in math class is different from the math we do in real life.

* if math doesn't have an immediate real-world application, it's not worth learning.

ReplyDelete* the best math class is one where everyone is the same level

* the best math students do problems quickly

* people who do problems quickly are the best math students.

* It is socially acceptable to say, "You'll never need to know this later" about math class.

I'm sure I have more, but you've hit most of mine already.

A couple more...

ReplyDelete- A quiet math classroom is a productive classroom

- It is socially acceptable to say, "I'm no good at math", almost like being part of a club

a couple more:

ReplyDelete* Calculus is the holy grail of mathematics. Ultimately, every math teacher should strive try to prepare students for calculus.

* If you have not done well in math, it's because you don't have a gift for math. Being successful in math is dependent on a gift more than it is dependent on persistence.

There are more negative beliefs and attitudes than positive ones, whether the contributors are teachers, parents, or students.

ReplyDeleteHere are things I wish I'd known earlier:

- Great literature and math overlap like rich tapestries of Venn diagrams. Poetry alone has cinquain, limerick, quatrain, and sestina.

- The harmonic scale used to make beautiful music (and other music, too, in all fairness) is based on math. Think of it as auditory math.

- People who love sports love math...and don't even realize it (football analyst Bill James uses a Pythagorean formula, for example, to determine expected W-L).

- Basic road construction techniques account for changes in grade/elevation using the same geometric diagrams found in a high school textbook.

- Math is fun, when it's called Sudoku.

These are awesome! Thanks for all the input and ideas. It's amazing that this has been floating around for 4 days now and there's still room for people to add new ones where my first reaction is "oh yeah, definitely."

ReplyDelete- Math is about learning a strange series of bizarre incantations which, when applied in the specified order, lead to correct answers that are as meaningless as the questions were.

ReplyDelete- Each type of problem has a specific way of solving it.

- The idea of writing a paper in math is silly.

-Math is always useful

ReplyDelete-Math is everywhere

-Everyone can do Math

-Math doesn't require proper English

-Math is always true.

-Math is about formulas

This is such a great list. I have some favorites. Some have been said but in q diffferent way:

ReplyDelete*I'm a math person, not English and vice versa.

*You have to know your math facts.

*All math people are geeks.

Thanks for starting the discussion!

Biologists don't need to understand math.

ReplyDeleteMath is about numbers

(for me it's about pictures)

Great blog, btw. There is so much here I resonate with, as a microbiologist who uses math, and who teaches graduate students.

My favorite from parents is:

ReplyDelete*My child isn't good at math because I wasn't.

From students:

*I'm not good at math because my parent wasn't.

Math has to be done in pencil not pen. (We have to erase our mistakes)

ReplyDeleteA person has to build skills in order to learn math

Algebra is something done in 8th grade or high school, certainly not in kindergarten

Every skill in math has to be explicitly taught

I know I need to make a choice, I can't be good in math and art. But maybe it does't real matter, you can't make a living off either one.

ReplyDeleteWell, sh*t, AdventureSkool. I must be totally effed--I'm a math teacher and a writer on the side. :)

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ReplyDelete카지노사이트입니다. 우리카지노가 대한 민국에서 장악한 바카라 시장점유율이 50%가 넘고 10년 넘게 온라인 바카라 시장을 장악해왔기 때문에 대한민국에서는 우리카지노를 모르는 사람은 드뭅니다. 이런 바카라 업계의 독보적인 입지 때문에 늘 유명하거나 최고만을 찾는 사람들이 카지노사이트를 찾을때는 늘우리카지노를 찾습니다.바카라를 처음 시작하시는 초보자분들에게도 우리카지노에서 카지노사이트를 시작하시기 좋은 환경입니다. 우리카지노사이트에서는 신규가입시 3만쿠폰을 지급 해주기 때문입니다. 사람들이 늘 1등만을 찾는 이유는 분명 있습니다. 다른 카지노사이트와는 달리 우리카지노를 이용하실시 에이전트를 끼고 게임을 하신다면 본사 이외에 활동쿠폰 및 오링쿠폰을 별도로 제공해주고 있기 때문입니다. 이러한 이유들 때문에 카지노사이트 업계에서 바카라를 즐기신다면 다들 우리카지노를 선호 하십니다. 카지노사이트에서 바카라를 이기기 물론 어렵습니다. 하지만 우리카지노의 에이전트를 끼고 바카라를 즐기신다면 승산이 있다고 봅니다. 우리카지노 에이전트의 연락처는 홈페이지로 연락하시면 언제든지 부담없이 소통가능 합니다. 카지노사이트를 선정할때는 바카라를 다른곳보다 유리하게 즐길 수 있는 카지노를 선택해야한다고 생각합니다. 그것이 바로 우리카지노 입니다. 이상으로 우리카지노와

바카라 카지노사이트 사이의 상관관계를 알아보았습니다 바카라사이트.