"With Math I Can" Initiative
SCUSD is collaborating with Amazon Education to transform negative student attitudes about math using a “growth mindset” approach.
Specifically, the “With Math I Can” initiative hopes to challenge ideas about who can — and who can’t — perform math at the highest levels. Research shows that anyone can succeed at high-level math with patience, practice and a willingness to see mistakes as part of the learning process.
In a study, more than 50 percent of young adults report that they say “I’m not good at math.” Yet the same study reported that nearly all Americans (93 percent) agree that developing good math skills is essential to success in life.
In addition, many youngsters fail to connect math skills to their future careers (“Why do I need to know this?”). But almost every career requires some mastery of math, from art to culinary to landscaping to engineering.
“With Math I Can” challenges teachers and their students to pledge that they will replace the notion of “I’m not good at math” with “I am working to get better at math” or “I won’t give up at math.” The goal is to replace “fixed mindset” thinking with “growth mindset” thinking. Growth mindset is an increased focus on the process of learning rather than the outcome.
SCUSD is putting out a call to action to all of our staff, students and families to take the pledge to change students’ mindsets about math.
This work is urgent as scores from the most recent Nation’s Report Card show that only 44 percent of low-income students achieved a basic understanding of math while 71 percent of average-income students achieved the same level. A negative attitude could be to blame.
Worldwide studies also show that girls score better in math than boys, yet don’t pursue STEM or other math-related careers like boys. By adopting a growth mindset, more girls may begin to see math careers as challenging and fun.