Writing for MindShift, Annie Murphy Paul surveys studies showing that the negative feelings parents and teachers harbor toward mathematics often rub off on children.
Mothers can unwittingly pass their unease with mathematics on to their daughters, she reports, and second grade girls whose teachers suffer from math anxiety do worse on tests of math achievement than those whose teachers are not intimidated by the subject.
Paul counsels parents wary of perpetuating their negative attitude:
Learn along with your kids, and you may find that math and science, or writing and spelling, are not so scary. And let kids know that it’s always possible to change and improve our abilities—you being a prime example.
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