SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ:AMZN)—Today, a coalition of non-profit education and education technology organizations launched a national initiative to transform student attitudes about math. Developed under the leadership of Amazon Education and TenMarks, “With Math I Can” challenges the nation’s more than three million teachers and their students to take the pledge to replace the notion of “I’m not good at math” with “I am working to get better at math” by embracing a “growth mindset,” the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed, which leads to an increased focus on the process of learning rather than the outcome. Supporters of the “With Math I Can” movement include Stanford University Professor of Mathematics Education Jo Boaler, Character Lab, Common Sense Education, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Stanford University’s Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS), ClassDoJo, ASCD, and Teaching Channel. Teachers and students can learn more, watch a video, access resources, and take the pledge at www.withmathican.org.
More than 50 percent of young adults report that they say, “I’m not good at math,” according to a survey by Change the Equation. Yet, the same study reports that nearly all Americans (93 percent) agree that developing good math skills is essential to success in life. This attitude is particularly perilous in lower income communities where scores from the most recent Nation’s Report Card showed that 71 percent of average-income students achieved a basic understanding of math, while only 44 percent of low-income students achieved the same level.
“Students need math for many reasons—from college readiness to career and everyday life, like keeping score at a basketball game or figuring out how much money to save to buy something. Students become discouraged and feel they aren’t good at math as soon as they encounter challenges or struggle with solving problems, and this is precisely what we want to change,” said Rohit Agarwal, General Manager of Amazon K-12 Education. “By collaborating with the education community, we are taking a bold step to transform society’s approach and mindset toward math so all students can reach their full potential and have equal access to career and economic opportunities. Our ambitious goal is to drive a change in attitude—from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can and I will’—for every student in the country.”
“With Math I Can” asks teachers and students who take the pledge to replace saying, “I’m not good at math” with statements like, “I will learn from my mistakes” or “I will persevere through challenges in math.” The initiative is supported by a website (www.withmathican.org), a video that highlights the need for a growth mindset around math, and a powerful set of free resources for teachers to use with their students to make a change.
A key supporter of the campaign is internationally recognized math education expert Jo Boaler, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education at Stanford University and author of the new book, Mathematical Mindsets. She was one of the first education researchers to apply growth mindset to math achievement, discovering that more children have a fixed mindset toward math than any other subject. She is also the co-founder of youcubed.org, a Stanford website dedicated to providing free resources to teachers, parents, and students to help students develop mathematical mindsets.
Boaler said, “If you ask most students what they think their role is in math classrooms, they will tell you it is to get questions right, and when they inevitably struggle, most decide they are not a ‘math person.’ When students are in math classrooms where they are given growth mindset messages, as well as encouraged to appreciate the beauty of mathematics, to ask deep questions, and to explore the rich set of connections that make up the subject, they develop a growth mindset. ‘With Math I Can’ is an extraordinary opportunity to help students all around the country transform their thinking about math and develop a growth mindset.”
New Jersey’s Edison Township Public Schools is one of the first districts in the country to join this national movement. Tara Beams, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Schools, said, “Across the entire district, teachers are changing students’ math mindsets. Everyday students are celebrating their math accomplishments, big and small, and are changing the way they talk and think about math because we are promoting growth mindset. The result, when we all—teachers and students—change the way they think and feel about learning math, students change the way they learn math! We are excited to be growing and nurturing all of our genius mathematicians and to be part of ‘With Math I Can,’ a movement to change math mindsets around the country.”
Across the country, California’s Beaumont Unified School District is taking the “With Math I Can” pledge as well. Commenting on her district’s commitment to help its students build their “math esteem,” Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Christina Goennier, Ed.D. said, "Beaumont Unified School District is honored to be a part of the ‘With Math I Can’ campaign. We believe all students and adults can learn to embrace the process of math. Through the variety of free resources offered on this site and the voice of a growth mindset from our mentors, we now say failing is our ‘first attempt in learning.’”
Neighboring California district Encinitas Union School District is also one of the first districts to commit to the “With Math I Can” pledge. Leighangela Brady, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, said, "’With Math I Can’ harnesses the power of math. Encinitas Union School District is committed to encouraging perseverance and a growth mindset, and we are thrilled to have access to so many resources at WithMathICan.org to help us support students to develop these skills. The ‘With Math I Can’ pledge is a perfect way for our students’ voices to be heard. With math, our students can, and will, become what they want to be.”
Teachers and students can take the pledge and get more information at www.WithMathICan.org.
About Amazon K-12 Education
Amazon Education’s goal is to improve learning outcomes with solutions that help teachers focus on what they do best—teach, engage and motivate students to learn. Solutions include rigorous content and curriculum resources for differentiated instruction and personalized learning, and a learning resource portal that specifically supports the discovery, curation, creation, and distribution of digital education resources for every educator across the country.
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