“With Math I Can” Initiative Unveiled to Change Student Mindsets about Math

Amazon Education, ASCD, Character Lab, Common Sense Education,
National Council of Teacher Mathematics (NCTM), Project for Education
Research That Scales (PERTS), ClassDoJo, and Teaching Channel join
together for campaign

Internationally recognized math education expert and Stanford
University professor Jo Boaler brings “growth mindset” approach to
initiative

School districts around the nation are joining the movement to
encourage a growth mindset about math and stop the statement, “I’m not
good at math”

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(NASDAQ:AMZN)—Today, a coalition of non-profit education and education
technology organizations launched a national initiative to transform
student attitudes about math. Developed under the leadership of Amazon
Education and TenMarks,
“With Math I Can” challenges the nation’s more than three million
teachers and their students to take the pledge to replace the notion of
“I’m not good at math” with “I am working to get better at math” by
embracing a “growth mindset,” the belief that abilities and intelligence
can be developed, which leads to an increased focus on the process
of learning rather than the outcome. Supporters of the “With Math I Can”
movement include Stanford University Professor of Mathematics Education
Jo Boaler, Character Lab, Common Sense Education, National Council of
Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Stanford University’s Project for
Education Research that Scales (PERTS), ClassDoJo, ASCD, and Teaching
Channel. Teachers and students can learn more, watch a video, access
resources, and take the pledge at www.withmathican.org.


More than 50 percent of young adults report that they say, “I’m not good
at math,” according to a survey by Change
the Equation
. Yet, the same study reports that nearly all Americans
(93 percent) agree that developing good math skills is essential to
success in life. This attitude is particularly perilous in lower income
communities where scores from the most recent Nation’s
Report Card
showed that 71 percent of average-income students
achieved a basic understanding of math, while only 44 percent of
low-income students achieved the same level.

“Students need math for many reasons—from college readiness to career
and everyday life, like keeping score at a basketball game or figuring
out how much money to save to buy something. Students become discouraged
and feel they aren’t good at math as soon as they encounter challenges
or struggle with solving problems, and this is precisely what we want to
change,” said Rohit Agarwal, General Manager of Amazon K-12 Education.
“By collaborating with the education community, we are taking a bold
step to transform society’s approach and mindset toward math so all
students can reach their full potential and have equal access to career
and economic opportunities. Our ambitious goal is to drive a change in
attitude—from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can and I will’—for every student in the
country.”

“With Math I Can” asks teachers and students who take the pledge to
replace saying, “I’m not good at math” with statements like, “I will
learn from my mistakes” or “I will persevere through challenges in
math.” The initiative is supported by a website (www.withmathican.org),
a video that highlights the need for a growth mindset around math, and a
powerful set of free resources for teachers to use with their students
to make a change.

A key supporter of the campaign is internationally recognized math
education expert Jo Boaler, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education at
Stanford University and author of the new book, Mathematical Mindsets.
She was one of the first education researchers to apply growth mindset
to math achievement, discovering that more children have a fixed mindset
toward math than any other subject. She is also the co-founder of
youcubed.org, a Stanford website dedicated to providing free resources
to teachers, parents, and students to help students develop mathematical
mindsets.

Boaler said, “If you ask most students what they think their role is in
math classrooms, they will tell you it is to get questions right, and
when they inevitably struggle, most decide they are not a ‘math person.’
When students are in math classrooms where they are given growth mindset
messages, as well as encouraged to appreciate the beauty of mathematics,
to ask deep questions, and to explore the rich set of connections that
make up the subject, they develop a growth mindset. ‘With Math I Can’ is
an extraordinary opportunity to help students all around the country
transform their thinking about math and develop a growth mindset.”

New Jersey’s Edison Township Public Schools is one of the first
districts in the country to join this national movement. Tara Beams,
Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary
Schools, said, “Across the entire district, teachers are changing
students’ math mindsets. Everyday students are celebrating their math
accomplishments, big and small, and are changing the way they talk and
think about math because we are promoting growth mindset. The result,
when we all—teachers and students—change the way they think and feel
about learning math, students change the way they learn math! We are
excited to be growing and nurturing all of our genius mathematicians and
to be part of ‘With Math I Can,’ a movement to change math mindsets
around the country.”

Across the country, California’s Beaumont Unified School District is
taking the “With Math I Can” pledge as well. Commenting on her
district’s commitment to help its students build their “math esteem,”
Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Christina Goennier,
Ed.D. said, “Beaumont Unified School District is honored to be a part of
the ‘With Math I Can’ campaign. We believe all students and adults can
learn to embrace the process of math. Through the variety of free
resources offered on this site and the voice of a growth mindset from
our mentors, we now say failing is our ‘first attempt in learning.’”

Neighboring California district Encinitas Union School District is also
one of the first districts to commit to the “With Math I Can” pledge.
Leighangela Brady, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, said, “’With Math I
Can’ harnesses the power of math. Encinitas Union School District is
committed to encouraging perseverance and a growth mindset, and we are
thrilled to have access to so many resources at WithMathICan.org to help
us support students to develop these skills. The ‘With Math I Can’
pledge is a perfect way for our students’ voices to be heard. With math,
our students can, and will, become what they want to be.”

Teachers and students can take the pledge and get more information at www.WithMathICan.org.

About Amazon K-12 Education

Amazon Education’s goal is to improve learning outcomes with solutions
that help teachers focus on what they do best—teach, engage and motivate
students to learn. Solutions include rigorous content and curriculum
resources for differentiated instruction and personalized learning, and
a learning resource portal that specifically supports the discovery,
curation, creation, and distribution of digital education resources for
every educator across the country.

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