Monday, November 06, 2006

"I don't know anything. I never did know anything. But now I know that I don't know...."

Maria at the Homeschool Math Blog discusses that recent study that says "that countries in which kids report enjoying mathematics and feeling confident in it do worse in math than kids who report they don't like math and are not feeling confident in it." According to the report, "American students are much more confident about their math abilities than Singapore students, yet they do far worse: Even the least confident students in Singapore outscore the most confident students in America!"

Maria points out:
"This effect in the U.S. may be due to the fact that by and large, mathematics instruction is delivered as easy, small, bite-size chunks that are easy for students to swallow.....[so] they will obviously be confident of their mathematical abilities and think that they do well in mathematics.

"In contrast, their peers in Singapore probably encounter challenging problems and frustration over those.

"In the long run, those students don't feel so confident about math because they have gotten a glimpse about the fact there is a lot they don't know."
To sum up and mix movie quotes: having confidence in confidence alone may not be what students need, if we're hoping to see future Marie Curies and Galileos.

1 comment:

Birdie said...

My crew isn't too crazy about math. I guess that means they have a bright future ahead of them? lol