Sunday, October 29, 2006

A recent study by Tim Loveless of the Brookings Institution shows an inverse association between what children perceive as their ability in math and their measured math ability across countries. This report from the Washington Post describes the major findings.

For Math Students, Self-Esteem Might Not Equal High Scores
U.S. Lags Behind Countries That Don't Emphasize Self-Regard

By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 18, 2006; Page A02

It is difficult to get through a day in an American school without hearing maxims such as these: "To succeed, you must believe in yourself," and "To teach, you must relate the subject to the lives of students."

But the Brookings Institution is reporting today that countries such as the United States that embrace self-esteem, joy and real-world relevance in learning mathematics are lagging behind others that don't promote all that self-regard.