Video & Film

Math can help build perseverance and patience- by changing the math questions we give students

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An inspiring and funny TED talk by Dan Meyer, a math teacher who proposes that a new way is needed to teach math in the U.S. if the goal is to develop patient problem solving and sound mathematical reasoning. He argues that the easily and tidily resolved problems common in math curricula do not reflect problems in real-life, and if students are only presented with such tidy problems, they develop “an impatience with irresolution”.

Meyer suggests an emphasis on formulating problems with students in math classes, rather than just providing them with problems to solve, and argues that such strategies will help students develop greater curiosity, interest, patience, perseverance, initiative-taking and collaboration in the face of problems, and allow for intuition to play a greater part in math. A few intriguing examples are provided in the video.

Dan Meyer also has an online video series.