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Develop a Positive STEM Mindset

Tags

Mathematics Social-Emotional Learning All Ages Strategy

Skills

Anxiety Abstract Reasoning Spatial Perception

Develop a Positive STEM Mindset

All students, particularly students who might be susceptible to negative math stereotypes or are easily discouraged

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will develop a positive math mindset through ongoing reinforcement from an early age.
  2. Teacher Takeaways: Success in math starts with a positive self-perception, which adults can foster by focusing on math reasoning rather than on a student's final answer. Empower students to think flexibly with numbers and explain their process: I added 10 to 43 and got 53 and then I added 5 more to get to 58. Focusing on methodology and working through problems together will develop a long-term ability to problem solve instead of relying on rote memorization or a calculator.
  3. Embrace Mistakes: Help students work through a math mistake, rather than telling them what to do: You were headed in the right direction but then you made a wrong turn here, can you see why? This enables students to think through their process and build on their learning.
  4. Model Applications: Show students why they want to use math in everyday life: We need math to bake cookies. We need math to figure out the sale price of your ski boots. Send the message that math is important and helpful, and not just a challenging subject in school.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Students are known to develop their self-perceptions as math students as early second grade. Accumulating evidence shows the positive correlation between a positive math mindset and math achievement. (Goswami & Mahanta, 2012). Adults need to foster a healthy attitude toward math beginning at the youngest ages. Read more about the overall importance of growth mindset.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Metacognition (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)