What students think about math?

Have you ever met a person who would proudly tell you that she/he cannot read or write? Is this a strange question? Have you ever met a person who would tell that he/she cannot math, because also his/her mother did not understand math? I have heard many times all kind of explanations why math is impossible for the person to learn or understand – and it is also clear that they don’t even bother!

What is the reason that student think that math is only memorizing and practicing endless list of equations?

We have asked in the beginning of 7 th grade students to draw a typical picture of math lesson.


Drawing 1. Student and his/her classmates are sitting alone, in rows and the teacher is teaching.

Students are sitting in rows, most of talking is teacher doing, teachers shows how to solve and there is no connection between students. The emotional feelings from their faces are telling us that they are confused, don’t understand what is going on, bored and even frustrated and frightened.



Drawing 2. The student feels anxiety forward mathematics.

How do you remember mathematics in school? I remember us sitting all alone in rows. The teacher was solving an equation on blackboard and then it was our turn to repeat it – over and over again. It was often hard for them to see the connection to real life and we started to lose motivation

It is not a wonder that every other students would rather take out the trash than do mathematics? Students often see mathematics boring, irrelevant or even frightening. The problem is not with math itself but on the way it is taught.

During developing Paths to Math material and using it with students for three years, we have asked them to draw a picture of typical math lesson. The change is huge. They have memories from different learning situations, they are working together and from their faces you can see the interest and motivation to math.


Drawing 3. The drawing is from the bird sight! Formulas are correct.


Drawing 4. Student remembers different action tasks. All classmates are smiling.

Math is not a list of rules to be remembered. Math is a way to look at the world that really make sense. Students can now understand math’s procedures, properties and proofs for themselves. Math is not anymore a dull misery but challenging, stimulating and even FUN.

As a teacher you can feel that you have prepared your student with more possibilities and better probabilities to choose his/her postgraduate studies. He/she can also tell to her children that math was his/her favorite subject!

Please feel free to sign-up for your free Paths to Math account from our web- pages. You can see first chapter in every Module. www.pathstomath.com