Measuring mathematical resilience: an application of the construct of resilience to the study of mathematics
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Professor Sue Johnston Wilder

This study tested, and confirmed, the three affective dimensions of studying mathematics: value, struggle and growth. Together these form the construct of mathematical resilience. Defined as a positive, adaptive stance to mathematics, mathematical resilience helps pupils to continue learning despite apparent challenges.

In the paper four factors of mathematical resilience are proposed: value, the belief that maths is a valuable subject and is worth studying; struggle, recognition that struggle with maths is universal, even with people who have a high level of mathematical skill; growth, developing confidence that all people can develop mathematical skills; and resilience, explained as an orientation towards negative situations or difficulties in the study of mathematics that results in a positive response.

In developing the concept of mathematical resilience, the researchers argue that teachers and policy makers can develop it and use it to measure how successful they are in enabling pupils to learn maths successfully. 

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Professor Sue Johnston Wilder

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Warwick University

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This research will prove useful for mathematics teachers looking for new ways to encourage and monitor their pupils’ understanding and ability in maths.


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R141 / 192
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