Our Acting CEO, Michelle Doyle Wildman was holding out for a maths superhero (or heroine) at the Maths Anxiety Summit in June 2018. Held by Shirley Conran’s Maths Anxiety Trust in conjunction with the Learning Skills Foundation, the event focused on the issue of maths anxiety and how it can be prevented. Parentkind was asked to take part to give the parents’ perspective on this challenge.
A fear of maths was first labelled as “maths anxiety” in America in the 1970s based on the idea that a negative or fearful perception of maths can be passed from parent to child. But maths and numbers are an essential part of our daily lives. Too often under-confidence, boredom and ineptitude around numbers and calculations are reinforced and allowed to flourish – something that is simply no longer acceptable in our schools and wider society when we consider reading and writing.
In a speech at the Summit, Michelle called for educators, policy makers and parents to work together to help our children move from maths anxiety to maths affection. Action to improve literacy is now embedded in our culture as a priority and parents are encouraged to read with their children every day and become reading volunteers in school. Michelle asked whether it is time to do the same for Maths?
There is a real need to demystify how maths is taught and to provide simple ways that parents can support at home and also build their own confidence if needed. Ultimately, we need maths superheroes (and heroines) for our times to supercharge maths - women and men, celebrities and civilians, teachers and parents. We need role models that can demonstrate how empowered they are by doing and enjoying the numbers!
Watch Michelle’s speech from the Summit here.