School & District Management

Teachers’ Math Anxiety Affects Female Students, Study Finds

By Erik W. Robelen — January 26, 2010 1 min read

Over at Inside School Research, my colleague Debbie Viadero describes a new study suggesting that female teachers’ anxiety about math can infect female students with the idea that boys, but not girls, are good in math.

“The more anxious teachers were about math, the more likely their female students were to endorse the stereotype that ‘boys are good at math and girls are good at reading’ by the end of the school year,” Debbie explains. “And the more likely girls were to believe that stereotype, the worse they did in that subject.”

For the study, which was published Jan. 25 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sian L. Beilock and her colleagues from the University of Chicago studied 17 1st- and 2nd-grade teachers and their students over the course of a school year.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.