Rebecca Burke, Berkeley math coach and King math teacher, loves to share her excitement for the website, youcubed.org, and the work of Standford Mathematics Professor Jo Boaler. Burke points to a short paper by Boaler that explains how scientists’ understanding of ability and learning has changed, and what we now know to be true about math achievement. Professor Boaler cites five recent and important findings supporting the idea that everyone can be good at math:
- All students can achieve at high levels.
- Students’ ideas about their ability determine their learning pathways and math achievement.
- Mistakes and struggle are extremely important for learning.
- Mathematics should be dissociated from speed.
- Teachers messages are hugely powerful.
Math coach Rebecca Burke encourages parents to consider taking a simple and free online course to explore the new research ideas on mathematics learning and student mindsets that can transform students’ experiences with math.
Burke’s basic message to teachers and parents alike is pretty simple: “Let’s have fun with math, and encourage everyone to believe they can do math. There is no such thing as a math gene.”