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Concern regarding teachers and how they transfer anxiety to some students

A new report published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science claims female teachers who show an anxiousness in math can share that attitude with female students.

The study was based on 17 first- and second-grade elementary school teachers, along with 52 boys and 65 girls.  At the beginning of the school year, researchers learned boys' and girls' math achievement didn't correlate depending on the attitude of their teacher.  

Boys weren't affected, but girls who began to believe boys are naturally better at math yielded lower grades.

"We are not sure whether it's something overt, whether it's non-verbal behavior or perhaps (teachers are) not spending much time on the subject," said Susan Levine, University of Chicago psychology and human development professor, co-author of the “Female Teachers' Math Anxiety Affects Girls' Math Achievement” study.  "It's not just a teacher's knowledge of the subject, but there' something about their feeling about the discipline."

This is a significant problem since there is a high demand for scientists, engineers and mathematicians, as these are in-demand jobs that help stimulate the economy.  However, men continue to dominate the engineering and IT jobs, and researchers believe it's detrimental to research to "dismiss 50%" of researchers because they are women.

The National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education indicates more than 90% of all elementary school teachers in the U.S. are women -- an inadequate level of mathematics study is required to receive a teaching certificate, which is something that may be addressed in the future.



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Just can't face the truth
By porkpie on 1/27/2010 11:19:11 AM , Rating: 5
Instead of looking for convoluted reasons, why not just accept the obvious explanation: men really are better at math than women. It's long been known there are substantial sex-based brain differences...women have more of the white matter dealing with communication skills, and men have more of the gray matter dealing with abstract problem solving.

I know its an oh-so-attractive belief to some people that "it's all just societies fault", but we'd be a lot better off if we just faced up to facts.




By therealnickdanger on 1/27/2010 3:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
Facts are politically incorrect.


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