Friday, October 30, 2015

Interest And Recognition Can Help A Student Become A ‘Math Person’

In a new study published in the journal Child Development, Florida International University Professor Zahra Hazari found that interest and recognition can help a student become a "math person" and pursue a STEM career.

Math isn't exactly every student's favorite subject, but those who have an affinity for it aren't necessarily born a "math person," as one might think.
"Much of becoming a 'math person' and pursuing a related STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) career has to do with being recognized and becoming interested - not just being able to do it," said Hazari, who specializes in STEM Education at FIU's College of Education and STEM Transformation Institute, according to the NEA blog. "This is important for promoting math education for everyone since it is not just about confidence and performance."
Hazari, who worked with colleagues Jennifer D. Cribbs from Western Kentucky University, and Philip M. Sadler and Gerhard Sonnert, both from Harvard University suggests that interest and recognition are key factors that can help students develop math skills.
The study, "Establishing an Explanatory Model for Mathematics Identity," suggests that students who feel confident in the subject won't necessarily become engaged in it, as previous studies have suggested.
The team surveyed more than 9,000 college calculus students from across the country. They found that students in the high-level course wanted to pursue math mainly because they'd received recognition for their abilities and also found it interesting.
In the survey, students were asked if they thought parents, friends, relatives, and math teachers saw them as a "math person."
Those who responded "yes" were classified as feeling recognized.
In other words, what motivates a student to pursue a career in STEM and encourages them to continue along this path is interest, recognition, and engagement.
"It is surprising that a student who becomes confident in his math abilities will not necessarily develop a math identity," Hazari said. "We really have to engage students in more meaningful ways through their own interests and help them overcome challenges and recognize them for doing so. If we want to empower students and provide access to STEM careers, it can't just be about confidence and performance. Attitudes and personal motivation matters immensely."
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Developing effective habits for effective study

We know that success in study requires good study skills. Effective habits are necessary to develop effective study. Here are the 8 habits;

  • Take responsibility for yourself
    Recognize that in order to succeed you need to make decisions about your priorities, your time, and your resources
  • Center yourself around your values and principles
    Don't let friends and acquaintances dictate what you consider important
  • Put first things first
    Follow up on the priorities you have set for yourself, and don't let others, or other interests, distract you from your goals
  • Discover your key productivity periods and places
    Morning, afternoon, or evening?
    Find spaces where you can be the most focused and productive.
    Prioritize these for your most difficult study challenges
  • Consider yourself in a win-win situation
    When you contribute your best to a class, you, your fellow students,
    and even your teacher will benefit.
    Your grade can then be one additional check on your performance
  • First understand others, then attempt to be understood
    When you have an issue with an instructor (a questionable grade, an assignment deadline, etc.) put yourself in the instructor's place.
    Now ask yourself how you can best make your argument given his/her situation
  • Look for better solutions to problems
    For example, if you don't understand the course material, don't just re-read it.
    Try something else! Consult with the professor, a tutor, an academic advisor, a classmate, a study group, or your school's study skills center
  • Look to continually challenge yourself
            Source: Effective habits for effective study at  
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