Inspire Positive Math Mindsets Our goal is to inspire and grow positive math mindsets in all learners. Intelligence is dynamic Although many still believe that math achievement is a result of being born with a “math brain”. The truth is, there’s no such thing as a math brain. In fact, research suggests that due to the plasticity of the brain and its ability to rewire itself, intelligence is dynamic and can grow with effort. This means that we all have the ability to develop our inner mathematicians with persistence and a belief in ourselves. This belief is called growth mindset. Everyone CAN learn and improve in math Learners with a growth mindset believe that they can learn and achieve with effort and hard work. These learners tend to take the time needed to persevere in the face of challenge, building the resilience needed for success. Conversely, learners with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence and talent are traits you are born with, and that people are either smart or talented or they aren’t. These learners tend to choose a quick, easier task over a more challenging task and tend to give up when tasks become too difficult because they believe that they are not smart enough. Mistakes are opportunities for learning Inspiring positive mindsets is essential to creating a supportive community of learners, “. . . when students are positive about and engaged with mathematics, they are more motivated to learn (even from mistakes), accept new ideas and try more challenging tasks. This, in turn, leads to the development of improved self-esteem, confidence, perseverance, creativity and performance.” Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behaviour. New York, NY: Plenum Research tells us that all learners can excel in mathematics to the highest levels. Depth is more important than speed “For about one third of students, the onset of timed testing is the beginning of math anxiety” (Boaler, 2014a, 2015). Research tells us that when students feel pressure and anxiety they are incapable of learning new concepts or retaining information. It is important that students are supported to learn math concepts in a supportive environment that allows students to deeply understand concepts. What it looks like in the classroom
- Time to problem solve and learn new concepts
- Students engage in challenging math tasks and are supported to learn from their mistakes
- Classroom cultures that value collaboration over competition
Everyone can learn and improve in math!
Students at Innisfil Central Public School created a video to show their enthusiasm for learning mathematics.
Let's join them in their excitement. Let's grow our brains together and embrace the role of mathematician.