Introduction:

It is common knowledge that America is falling behind when it comes to math.

This problem is furthered by the myth math is not a skill needed beyond school.

For girls, the thought that math is an unnecessary skill is perpetuated by our parents, teachers, and culture.

The stereotype that boys are better at math than girls can be seen in children as young as first grade.

This has a negative effect on girls as they are told they aren't supposed to be good at math. And on boys who struggle with math because they think their peers are smarter than them.

Both of these effects cause many American's to suffer from math anxiety.

The problem with math gender stereotyping and math

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A 2007 study correlates students math skills before kindergarten with achievement in both math and reading. Surprisingly these skills are better indicators of future abilities than pre-kindergarten reading.

The skills for children 3 to 5 are simple enough to incorporate into everyday conversations, like counting objects, asking "what is bigger," recognizing shapes, and patterns. This is all summarized by Kevin Hartnett in an article for the Boston Globe.

When children reach elementary school they should have teachers who have the abilities necessary to teach math.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest increasing math requirements for elementary educators can help decrease teachers' math anxiety.

The solutions I suggest are based on previous findings.

I recently received the curriculum needed for an elementary education degree and the only math required was several semesters of math for teachers.

If teachers were required to take math classes above what they will be teaching they will gain new skills and be more confident in lower