Survey: Many Students Find Math Irrelevant to Solving Everyday Problems

Survey: Many Students Find Math Irrelevant to Solving Everyday Problems

Almost three-quarters of high school students believe they can be good at math with hard work, but many struggle to follow through when faced with challenging work, according to a national survey by YouthTruth and reported in Education Slice.

The survey included almost 90,000 high school students across 62 districts in 14 states and revealed that students often feel disconnected from the real-world applications of math and are uninterested in the work they are given.

The survey coincides with a decline in U.S. students’ math skills due to the pandemic. The findings suggest that schools need to better connect math to students’ career aspirations and demonstrate how it can solve everyday problems.

The survey also found that students’ perspectives on math varied by demographics and family background. Students whose parents held graduate degrees were more likely to value math education.

Teacher-student relationships were identified as a critical factor in creating a positive math learning environment. Students expressed a desire for math to be more relevant to their lives, including learning skills such as financial literacy. Experts caution against solely focusing on practical applications and emphasize the importance of modeling and problem-solving in math education.

Education Slice

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