Mathematics is often unpopular among school children because the subject is taught very often wrongly and good teachers are not always good educators. Math is the science of logical and abstract thinking, the tool for revealing hidden patterns and structures.

Maths is an indispensable science for our lives and is fundamental to technological advancement.

Maths helps to find solutions to many questions and problems which surround us and forms the basis of many other sciences, such as physics. It helps develop concentration, curiosity, discipline, patience, goal orientation, creativity, and critical thinking in students of all ages.

Discover the link between mathematics and art.

Here are some stereotypes about mathematics that have made the subject somewhat of an enigma. We hope, after reading this article, you see the fun side of maths and enjoy learning it!

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Girls Can't Do Maths

While women have surpassed men in college enrollment and degree attainment, there is a marked exception. Mathematics continues to be a male-dominated field. Despite STEM educational programs (science, technology, engineering, and math) being promoted across India, these areas of study remain underrepresented by women, creating a math gender gap.

Maths is just as easy for girls as it is for boys.
Maths, a subject for boys and girls | Image source: pixabay

Maths and science are popularly perceived as male domains, according to well-established research in STEM education. The long-standing debate over gender differences in mathematics is alive and well. Children express the stereotype that mathematics is for boys, not for girls, as early as second grade

The “math is for boys” stereotype has been used to justify why so few women pursue science, mathematics, and engineering careers. This cultural stereotype may push many girls to think that “math is not for me,” which can affect what activities they engage in and their career aspirations.

There is a widespread cultural belief in India that women cannot succeed in mathematically demanding fields. Still, women continue to be underrepresented in math, science, and engineering-related careers, and there’s evidence that girls can lose ground in math under certain circumstances.

Research by Brynner has shown that the level of mathematical competence, assessed in the early years of school, predicts our academic and career success. In other words, kids with good math skills will have more opportunities academically, and later, in their careers. And, as surprising as it is, this relationship between math skills and future success is even more true for girls.

Learn about the story of the evolution of teaching mathematics.

In India, gender stereotypes imply that males are more proficient in mathematics than women. Yet there is no scientific evidence to support this view of a low yield of girls in mathematics by biological causes. These stereotypes can have a big impact on girls, weakening their math learning which, in the long run, will have a negative effect on their performance.

Women with positive math ability beliefs were more likely to choose math-heavy STEM majors.

The gender stereotype in mathematics implies that girls have more anxiety and less confidence in their math abilities, which ultimately affects their aspirations. Unfortunately, this means that these girls are less likely than their male peers to choose to study math in high school or later. In fact, high levels of math anxiety are related to lower scores on tests, fewer science courses taken, lower grades in those courses, and avoidance of certain career paths involving mathematics.

How to Avoid Gender Stereotypes

A variety of actions should be taken to fight this stereotype and promote the participation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

  • Plan interventions during early childhood before children can consolidate the concept of gender stereotypes.
  • The role of parents is fundamental in preventing these unrealistic and negative perceptions of girls’ abilities in mathematics.
  • It is important to tackle the gender stereotype beliefs among teachers.
  • Schools should consciously make efforts to overcome stereotypical gender representations in textbooks at all educational levels. It has been demonstrated that stereotypical representations in textbooks affect students’ understanding of and anxiety related to science.
Check out myths and facts of vegan food
Do not just listen to any random statement about mathematics, but know its facts to the core. | Image source: VegNews

How does knowledge of math help understand computers?

Generally speaking, to work towards change it is important that we are all conscious of the gender stereotypes that exist and we must be careful not to pass them on, whether directly or indirectly, from one generation of learners to the next.

There is no innate gender difference in mathematics ability. However, differing societal expectations for male and female students in India result in vastly different experiences of learning, levels of confidence in personal ability, and performance in benchmarking tests. If mathematical ability were biologically determined, gender differences would be consistent among countries, and over time, which is not the case.

Women are not inherently less capable or less interested in STEM than men, and the problem of gender imbalance is not impossible to solve. There is nothing inevitable about inequality. Impediments to women in STEM have deep societal, cultural, and institutional roots, and no single strategy can entirely plug the leak. Debunking the myths and spreading the facts is a start.

Only Geniuses Can Do Maths

A common misconception about math is that it requires raw intellectual talent or “brilliance.” Only students who possess this sort of brilliance are assumed to be capable of success in math-related subjects. This harmful myth has far-reaching consequences for the success of women in the field and only serves to reinforce the gender stereotype.

Test your knowledge of key terms in mathematics.

Having a natural ability to do maths better than others is a myth. The reality is that some people have the knack to study and enjoy this subject, while it can be quite frustrating for others. However, students who do not understand everything at the first try are not condemned to be the last in maths class for the rest of school, whether it's ICSE maths revision or beyond! To obtain a good level, these students have several options:

  • Sign up for maths tuitions near me.
  • Attend refresher courses and training during holidays.
  • Spend a little more time at your desk doing exercises instead of on your phone!

Practice and dedication is really the main difference between mathematicians and non-mathematicians. Even good students have their weaknesses, and it is very likely that their peers who are 'rubbish at maths' are better than them in another subject.

Here is all you need to know about the evolution of the perceptions towards and pedagogy of Mathematics.

The role of the maths teacher is a critical one. Students may have a different way of seeing the world than those who teach maths. However, there is no dearth of patient and understanding people who teach maths online and who will help you progress at your own pace!

Maths Inhibits Creativity

Creativity is at the heart of mathematics as much as it is for art, literature, and music. The act of creation involves diametrical opposites--working intensely and relaxing, the frustration of failure and elation of discovery, satisfaction of seeing all the pieces fit together. It requires imagination, intellect, intuition, and aesthetics about the rightness of things. Just ask Albert Einstein!

Learning Maths Has No Practical Applications

The practical uses of mathematics cannot be counted. To begin with, one needs mathematics to be able to split the bill with friends when out for lunch. Mathematics is also used to calculate the price of items sold.

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You don't have to be a maths genius to do well in exams at school.
It's time to give maths a better reputation! | Image source: Pixabay

Examples of Practical Applications of Maths in the Everyday

If you receive a 20% discount, simply multiply the product price by 0.80 (100 - the percentage). Of course, using a calculator is allowed, especially for pesky figures like INR 999.99! In medical imagery, mathematics is used to reconstruct images of the human body from certain points (scanner).

Enrich your mathematical horizons by learning about the history and evolution of mathematics.

Operational research in the tourism field uses mathematics to search flights at the best price. It is all about constructing high-performance algorithms capable of calculating, in real-time, the best cost for a given journey among all available flights.

The study of acoustic waves also helps design noise barriers along motorways, concert halls perfect for optimum noise cancelation, or noise generators to cancel unwanted noise (such as anti-tinnitus hearing techniques).

What are some examples of maths in art?

The potential uses for mathematics are almost infinite, to understand that they are essential is one more step towards reconciliation with this subject. Learning maths is also useful in everyday life.

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.