Teachers tell us that their pupils often have a ‘fixed mindset’ towards maths.
They say pupils become anxious, disruptive or disengaged when challenged with a new or tough maths problem.
They are scared of making mistakes, being criticised or being labelled as ‘not clever’.
A high school maths teacher told us: “Most of my pupils have negative attitudes towards mathematics and expect to be told exactly what to do at all times. I would like them to enjoy their time in maths and be open to experimenting, exploring ideas independently, and trying things for themselves.”
However, teachers taking part in our mindset in numeracy programmes say their pupils are developing a growth mindset towards maths. They say their pupils:
Are more engaged in maths and more willing to try tougher challenges
Are less scared of making mistakes (and learn from them when they do)
Show more persistence and effort with their maths tasks
In Dundee, where we support two-thirds of all primary schools, Scottish Government data showed that 87% of these schools demonstrated improvements in numeracy attainment between 2017-18 and 2018-19.