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Topic: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math' ..>>> oops
Replies: 1   Last Post: Nov 5, 2013 9:31 PM

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Clyde Greeno @ MALEI

Posts: 220
Registered: 9/13/10
Re: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math' ..>>> oops
Posted: Nov 5, 2013 9:31 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

correction: " ... that he or she DOES have a "non-mathematical mind."

- --------------------------------------------------
From: "Clyde Greeno @ MALEI" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 5:29 PM
To: <>
Subject: Re: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'

> This thread is running far away from the point of the article ... its
> rhetorical weaknesses notwithstanding. The "myth" of which it speaks is a
> person-by-person conviction of the individual, that he or she does not
> have a "non-mathematical mind."
> It stems from regarding "mathematics" as being the kind of things that the
> learner encountered in school/college courses that were labeled
> "mathematics" ... and from rationally floundering with that school-kind of
> "mathematics." Those scholastic experiences ... so labeled ... literally
> *define* whatever the word, "mathematics", means for students. In reality,
> it is a belief that he/she does not have the kind of mind that can
> effectively and efficiently learn THAT kind of *school mathematics*.
> Closely associated with the article is students' beliefs that being "good
> at math" equates with easily earning good grades in such "school math" ...
> even though the "school math" may be non-sensible, irrational,
> parrot-training to perform test-items. Many victims of severe "math
> anxiety" suffer from being too mathematical for how they are being
> "taught."
> In the research-oriented, MALEI Mathematical Learning Clinic we have found
> that a major cause for students being "no good at math" is that they are
> TOO good at math. The students who appear to be "really good at math"
> often are students who are really good only at programming themselves to
> execute data-processing routines ... and at regurgitating dialog ... in
> ways that result in high scores. But there are other students whose minds
> so insist on knowing the content-meanings of the jargon ... and on
> grasping the mathematical common-sensibility of the concepts, facts, and
> processes ... that their minds are unwilling to play mathematical blind
> man's bluff well, if at all. In some very extreme cases, they were
> "assessed" as being mathematically retarded because they were too
> theoretical to digest the garbage fed to them by the drill-&-kill
> workbooks.
> The non-myth is that most students sooner or later flounder with *that*
> kind of "mathematics" ... revealing that , in fact, they are "no good at
> [that school kind of] mathematics" ... even if very good at some for-real
> mathematics that they do not recognize as being "mathematics" (as defined
> by their scholastic experiences).
> No myth: lots of people are "bad at math" [school math and real math].
> Widespread myth: finding it difficult to earn high scores in courses or on
> tests that someone calls "mathematics" is a sign of low aptitude? NOT SO.
> To the contrary, it might be a sign of a creative, analytic,
> rational-learning, theoristic, mathematical mind that cannot cope with
> mathematically non-sensible "mathematics" curricula. You will never find
> students who have strong reading/writing skills who also are lacking in
> mathematical aptitude ... even if they cannot pass the usual first course
> in high school algebra. [Make that course fully common-sensible, and they
> can sail through it.]
> - --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Louis Talman" <>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 10:29 AM
> To: "Robert Hansen" <>
> Cc: <>
> Subject: Re: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'

>> On Tue, 05 Nov 2013 06:58:20 -0700, Robert Hansen <>
>> wrote:

>>> I don't understand the question.:)
>> Denying that there's a problem is one approach.
>> - --Louis A. Talman
>> Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
>> Metropolitan State University of Denver
>> <>

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