Think You're 'Bad at Math'? You're Just Being Lazy

Americans fall back on that tired phrase, instead of working harder: Allison Schraeger

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 12, 2013 12:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – Americans have a lousy mindset when it comes to math education, writes economist Allison Schraeger in Quartz. When a student starts doing poorly, we too often shrug it off, say some people just aren't cut out for math, and allow the kid to focus on something else. But you know what that student really needs? More math classes, writes Schraeger. Sure, learning math can be difficult, but "the challenge is getting American students and teachers to push themselves."

As the results from yet another study make clear, Americans continue to bring up the rear in math skills. More classes and better-trained teachers are part of the solution, but so is ridding ourselves of this lazy attitude. It's time "to rethink our approach to math, for all students—and discourage use of the expressions 'good at math' or 'bad at math,'" writes Schraeger. "They only serve as an excuse to underperform." Click for her full column.

  (Shutterstock)
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We are quick to dismiss students as good or bad at math when it gets hard. - Allison Schraeger, Quartz

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