Recent studies are pointing to a scary pattern: across the globe, girls are experiencing more “math anxiety” than boys. Even more concerning? It’s affecting all girls, and even top achievers still feel more math anxiety than their male peers.
You must be wondering why? Scientists aren’t sure, but signs are pointing towards social conditioning. Parents appear to play a huge role, with the study finding that girls weren’t as likely as boys to say that their parents taught them the value of math.
Math Anxiety is Nothing New
In fact, these findings aren’t totally new – a 2007 study also found that stereotypes could impact academic performance. They tested “stereotype threat” in a classroom setting, with two sets of female students each receiving the same math education, but with one set being taught by an instructor that would mention the stereotype that women aren’t as good at math as men. The result? The class which was exposed to stereotypes performed noticeably worse on math tests than the controlled class.
Empower Children to Improve Math Skills
Many of the families we work with do a great job at empowering children to improve math skills. It starts with parents and continues in the classroom. We encourage all families to support both boys and girls to participate in math, and teachers and peers need to do the same.
Our mission is to foster confident students. Whether your child needs extra support to reach their grade level, or excels at math and needs a challenge, the Kumon self-learning method helps build the confidence required to succeed in school and in other areas of life as well.
Learn about our Math Program and see how Kumon can help your child tackle math anxiety.