Skip to content Skip to navigation

Photo-closeup of a Hoover Tower top

Dispelling myths about mathematics

June 11, 2017
Photo of Jo Boaler
Research on how to teach math more effectively isn’t making it into the classroom, says Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford.
In this episode of School’s In, Jo Boaler talks about why math makes so many students anxious—and how to change that by teaching it differently.

A negative attitude about learning math is often the reason students, especially girls, decide not to pursue careers in science and technology. Why does the subject produce anxiety for so many young people? And how can teachers and parents inspire students to enjoy it instead?

“It’s important to get the message out that there’s no such thing as a ‘math person,’ ” says Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education and co-founder of Youcubed, a center at Stanford that provides resources for teaching and learning mathematics. “Anyone can develop the pathways they need to learn mathematics, and you can do that at any time. Even if you’ve had bad math experiences, you can change that.”

In this episode of School’s In, Boaler joined Stanford Graduate School of Education Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope to dispel myths about math education and explore ways to help students avoid math anxiety.

“We have a nation of math-traumatized people,” Boaler says. “Even [students] who are successful are learning an antiquated set of methods they probably will never use.”

Listen from the link below, and find more episodes of School's In at the Stanford Radio main page. The show airs Saturdays on SiriusXM Insight Channel 121.