A common factor in STEM attrition of undergraduates is poor preparation in mathematics. That barrier to retention got a lot higher with the news that parents can pass math anxiety onto their children. The study published in Psychological Science reports that both a child’s achievement and attitude toward math are impacted. The highest negative impact occurs when a math-anxious parent spends a lot of time helping a child with math homework. I guess some of us well-meaning parents need to hire math-loving tutors. No wonder math seems to be an insurmountable problem for some undergraduates! It will be interesting to see how elementary and secondary schools respond to the findings. Should higher education also have a role in helping math-anxious parents?    

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