For as long as I’ve been a maths teacher, and probably before, it’s seemed to me a travesty that people would leave school saying they weren’t good at maths. Well I’ve decided to do something about it on a bigger scale. At the moment it’s early days but I’ve got a vision of a grass roots led anti-“anti-maths” idea up my sleeve. (Was that a two-negatives-make-a-positive moment?!)
One of the things we can tackle together is the spread of the “I was never any good” message that percolates through schools, homes and the media. There are many ways to go about this, for sure, but the lowest hanging fruit would be to educate parents and non-maths colleagues in primary and secondary schools about the harm they it does to children’s attitudes.
In time, there may well be a website, posters, training material and maybe even a hashtag (leave your suggestions in the comments), to stem the back at but before I can get those things together, I need your help capturing the variety of different ways people express the “I was never any good” message. What phrases do they use? And how do you think the message is interpreted by pupils?
At this point, it’s a little desk study requiring your input. Below are some questions that try to capture the precise words teachers/parents/media are using and the thoughts going through the pupils’ minds when they hear them. Armed with these phrases, I can then produce some “campaign material” that we can use in our schools.
Action: please complete the four questions in the form below.
Remember – hashtag suggestions in the comments please 🙂