Americans Want K-12 Math Education To Be Relevant

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k-12 math education, how to improve in the us

Americans Share Their Thoughts on K-12 Math Education

The results of a recent survey conducted by the Global Strategy Group revealed that Americans are largely dissatisfied with K-12 math education. A majority of respondents both ranked math as the most important subject and as the subject most in need of updating. These findings raise an important question – how can we improve math educated in the US?

While the data collection was conducted by the research firm Global Strategy Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the survey as part of a larger project to investigate the public’s perceptions of math. Respondents included parents, teachers, and the general public.

How Respondents Believe Math Education Can Be Improved

Overall, people want to see a more engaging, relevant K-12 math curriculum that applies to the real world. Many also believe that K-12 education should prepare kids for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The study found that nearly 3 in 4 people believe math is “very important for preparing students for the real world.”


When asked to describe their view of an “ideal K-12 math education,” respondents most often answered with “relevant to the real world,” “useful,” “focused on creative problem-solving,” and “engaging.”

The Gates Foundation suggests that now is a great time to rethink math instruction in K-12 education as school teachers continue to catch their students up from time lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although, the foundation acknowledges that many schools lack the resources for curriculum development and training needed for changes.

k-12 math education how to improve in the us
Source: Global Strategy Group

How The Gates Foundation Wants To Improve Math Education In The US

The Gates Foundation is on a mission to improve mathematics education in the US. The survey’s findings support the need for the foundation’s mission, which includes:

  • Develop high-quality materials that connect mathematics content to relevant, real-world situations, such as budgeting and student interests.
  • Support training and professional development to help teachers use those materials.
  • Encourage high schools to offer more advanced math classes including statistics, data science, and quantitive reasoning, which can be relevant for students pursuing careers outside STEM.

 

Over half of the respondents agreed that students who succeed in math at school are more likely to succeed later in life. The importance of mathematics education in the United States cannot be overlooked.

k-12 math education how to improve in the us

How Math & Movement Can Help

Here at Math & Movement, we agree with the findings of the survey and believe that K-12 math education can and should be improved. In fact, our goals align pretty closely with those of the Gates Foundation. We have confidence that every student can be successful in math with the proper learning techniques.

We offer high-quality materials that promote a unique approach to learning – using kinesthetic activities. Adding movement into lessons will help students learn foundational math skills vital to success. In addition to our materials, we have a large offering of lesson plan ideas and professional development opportunities. Get started with improving your math curriculum today.

How would you improve math education in the US? What would your ideal K-12 math education look like? Let us know what’s important to you in the comments!

References & More Reading

Blad, Evie. “Parents, Teachers Agree: Math Matters, But Schools Must Make It Relevant.” Education Week, 17 April 2023, https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/parents-teachers-agree-math-matters-but-schools-must-make-it-relevant/2023/04.

Jimenez, Kayla. “Most Americans are unhappy with the math taught in classrooms, new survey shows.” USA Today, 17 April 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2023/04/17/families-unsatisfied-way-us-teaches-math/11666787002/.

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