Magazine article ASEE Prism

Subtract the Happiness

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Subtract the Happiness

Article excerpt

PREPARE TO BE INSPIRED as you walk into Patrice Zotos' math classroom. Cut out of brightly colored paper, tacked above the blackboard, reads "Organization + Effort + Attitude + Aptitude = Success." Zotos, a middle school math teacher in Oakland, N.J., says instilling confidence in her students is crucial to their success. But according to a study released in October by the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy, efforts by Zotos and other U.S. math teachers to make students believe in themselves isn't translating to success. The report, based on the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, found that countries like the United States, which promote selfesteem, happiness and real-world relevance in math, are lagging behind other countries with less of a feel-good focus. …

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