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Print 14 comment(s) - last by TheEinstein.. on Jan 30 at 1:49 AM

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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By porkpie on 1/28/2010 1:55:55 PM , Rating: 1
'No one in mathematics gives a shit that you can figure out a problem in your head and provide a correct answer'

Err, this isn't correct. From someone who has taken math to the level of diffy-q's and complex analysis, I can tell you that some professors (as well as high school teachers) will penalize you most thoroughly if you fail to show your work.


By incarnaterage on 1/29/2010 1:56:27 AM , Rating: 2
I meant to imply, that getting an answer by just presenting and showing no work isn't going to fly, and that a correct answer without correct work will never earn credit.


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