Mathematical Resilience
Welcome This site is designed for all those interested in enabling people to learn and use mathematics. As I write this in September 2014 the site is just starting out; what is to be found on its pages is what we have started to find out about how focusing on developing MATHEMATICAL RESILIENCE can enable more people to take a positive stance towards learning mathematics and thus become more willing and able to engage with the power and significance of mathematics. We would like it to grow and become a community of learners sharing their experiences of helping people become mathematically resilient. The site is aimed at all those engaged with the business of learning mathematics; teachers and others in school who want to empower their students and help them gain satisfaction from learning mathematics, not learn to leave it alone because it only causes anxiety; coaches whose role it is to support others in learning mathematics; and parents who want help their children learn or at least avoid passing on their own antipathy towards mathematics. If you are interested in helping people to know that they can “do maths”, then please look at what is in these pages and please contribute via the forum. If you have tried out something then please let us know so that we can build up a resource for those who understand the need for people to be mathematically resilient.

What is Mathematical Resilience?

Mathematical resilience describes a positive stance to learning that enables learners to engage successfully in what can be a difficult endeavour, that of learning mathematics. It is a pragmatic, mathematised understanding of the well-established concept resilience. In order to be resilient mathematically a learner must: understand the need to STRUGGLE mathematically; resilience is the opposite of path smoothing, learning mathematics can be difficult, but struggling and overcoming those obstacles brings satisfaction with success hold a GROWTH theory of learning; the prevailing fixed theory of learning (Dweck 2000) where students are led to believe that they have a ceiling to what they can do mitigates against the idea that with effort and the right sort of help, learning can grow; and have RESOURCES available to them to support their learning; this means resources such as friends and teachers, textbooks and the wider community of mathematicians such as those available through the internet. Mathematical resilience describes that quality by which some learners approach mathematics with agency, persistence and a willingness to discuss, reflect and research. Clare Lee and Sue Johnston-Wilder
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