| || ||Words
in the News|
and 13-year-old children have pre-set images of what a mathematician looks like,
and it's not a very attractive picture. Professor John Berry from Plymouth University
reports on his findings.|
to the report in full|
image of a mathematician?
to the first part of the report|
| || ||Is
the unflattering image perhaps accurate?
It is accurate from their perspective because I think they
don't know what real mathematicians do and when we carried
out an intervention strategy of producing a panel of
mathematicians then the children were quite surprised that mathematicians
are in fact ordinary people. It is just that they are
very good at mathematics.
from their way of
a mathematician studies
problems involving numbers and calculations
strategy: a plan to change the situation by getting involved in it
panel:a small group of people who are chosen to do something
people: people who are not seen as 'different'
makes mathematicians different is not very important
2 || ||Listen
to the second part of the report|
Professor Berry surprised by the similarity in images from children
from different countries (Britain, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany,
Romania and the United States)?
We were surprised at the similarity yes. We weren't surprised
with the images that we had from the United Kingdom and the United
States because we've been working with children for a long time and
I think our countries are very similar in the negative attitudes
that people have towards mathematics. A teacher from Thailand
contacted me via the email and said that she had carried out
the same test and to her surprise they came up with the same features,
the same sort of caricature as we had described.
|WORDS || ||
this was an unexpected result
negative attitudes: a non-positive
way of thinking or feeling
towards: if you have a particular attitude
towards people, you feel like that about them
out: you carry out a piece of research
a drawing or description that exaggerates an appearance, to make people laugh.
| || ||Read
about the background in BBC News Online|