Beliefs and Attitudes about Mathematics

Love math 1

Without Geometry, Life is Pointless

What beliefs and attitudes about mathematics do you see in your students, in society, in the media, and elsewhere? Try and think of both positive and negative beliefs and attitudes. These can be beliefs that you agree or disagree with. I’ll start with a few, but please add your own in the comments.

  • If you’re good at math, math problems can be solved in a relatively short amount of time.
  • People do not solve math problems for fun; they do it for school, for their job, or to balance their checkbook.
  • Every math problem has been solved by someone.
  • Math is about numbers.
  • Math is a language to describe the world.
  • If you are good at math, you are smart.
  • If you can do computations accurately and quickly, you are good at math.
  • People who are good at math are eccentric and/or not socially adept.
  • Boys are good at math.
  • Asians are good at math.
  • There can only be one correct answer.
  • If I don’t know how to solve a homework problem, I must be doing something wrong.
  • Math topics/classes are sequential; I need to understand A before I can learn B.
  • It is socially acceptable to say you’re bad at math.
  • Math is more analytical than creative.
  • Using a procedure correctly to get the right answer is more important than understanding why the procedure works
  • With current technology, arithmetic is not important.
  • To be an engineer, you need to be computationally strong.
  • Math is a gatekeeper.
  • The value of math is in its connection to real world applications.
  • Math teachers sleep under their desk at school.

Ok, I guess that was more than “a few”.  Hopefully I left some for everyone else.