“No, I told myself,”replied Twitter follower dejla. “I could never figure out word problems, and higher algebra and geometry were beyond. I never found anyone who could help me understand it. And that makes me sad.”
We saw numerous responses noting a gender bias in math. Essentially, “boys are good at math, girls are bad.” Twitter follower L. Divs put it well:
Over and over again from grades about 5-8, as were many of my cousins and friends. Math is more male because it doesn’t inspire “feelings” which are more in the feminine domain.
We came across righteous responses about defying those labels, too.
“YESSSS they lied,” Gloria Jean Jackson wrote on Facebook.
On Facebook, reader Clarice Doussant said that despite the lack of encouragement and help in her own math education, “l saw to it that both of my daughters got a good math education, and one of them is even going into STEM.”
That’s exactly how it should be. But it’s all too rare in today’s society. Facebook follower Barak-Har Elkin summed it up:
"Terrible thing to tell children. Math is the universal language & everyone speaks it incessantly whether they know it or not.”
It’s a big deal when educators lie to children about their ability to overcome math problems. But when you get the right teacher, a new universe of possibilities opens. Facebook follower Susan Wallace-Ward shared her experience.
“Awful hs math teacher, had to have a tutor for idiot math in college but then found my way and the last 10 years of my professional career, overall managed an $8.5B budget ... so the moral of the story is anything can change with the right direction!”
We Want You To Help Us Fix This
We know that every student can be a math person. We want you to be part of the movement that makes it happen. We put together a pledge.
Take the pledge today. It’s only the beginning of what we’ll accomplish together.
Rob Samuelson is a Staff Writer at Education Post and Digital Media Manager for the brightbeam network.