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Chief scientist: Australia’s maths performance going backwards

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The Educator | 03 Aug 2015, 09:29 AM Agree 0
Is the recent STEM push enough to improve Australian students’ maths performance on the global stage?
  • Susan Hyde | 03 Aug 2015, 10:20 AM Agree 0
    Learning mathematics in our country has a serious image problem. Fuelled by the belief in the fixed mindset that says that only some people can learn maths, eg that it is OK not be able to understand maths because dad wasn't any good at it either, the appearance of maths anxiety in many of our students also reported by teachers, (see Sue Wilson's ACER research), exacerbated by ability grouping and streaming students into easy and harder maths learning, many children loose their confidence to learn their maths. At the same time the PISA results also report that our students know that maths is important, go figure.
    I suggest that we need to apply the growth mindset to learning mathematics through a high profile publicity campaign. That might help kick start the interest by challenging the idea that learning maths is only for the "very bright nerdy" few.
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