Social Stigma and Mathematical Ignorance
Carmen M. Latterell, University of Minnesota Duluth
Although excelling in mathematics can be socially stigmatizing,
is it a social stigma to be deficient in mathematics? Over 1000
undergraduate students were questioned as to the embarrassment
level they would feel for various deficiencies (including mathematical
and nonmathematical situations). Results reveal that most students
(including mathematics majors) do not find it embarrassing to make
a mathematical mistake, but do find it embarrassing to make
nonmathematical mistakes. Implications include the difficulty of
teaching K12 mathematics if the discipline is not valued.
Academic Exchange Quarterly Fall 2005 Volume 9, Issue 3
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