Average Parent is No Better at Math or Science Than a 6th Grader!
Jim Liebelt Jim Liebelt's Blog
- 2020 Sep 30
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Study Finds.
How many of your childhood math or science lessons do you remember today? If the answer is barely any, you aren’t alone. A recent survey of 2,000 U.S. parents finds the average parent these days has the math and science skills of an 11-year-old.
Respondents were asked what grade they would be placed in today if they had to take a placement test, and the average answer was the sixth grade for both math and science.
It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to remember everything they were taught in school as a child, of course. Yet the extent to which many American adults feel clueless when it comes to academics is shocking. In all, 42% say they would be “lost” trying to teach their child mathematics. Another 35% express the same sentiment regarding scientific topics.
This research, commissioned by Mongoose, feels especially timely considering how millions of parents suddenly find themselves taking on a more active teaching role with their kids home from school due to the pandemic.
Over half (58%) of respondents say they’ve been asked by their child for help with a math or science problem. Junior may clearly be better off looking elsewhere for a tutor. For instance, just under 40% of parents can’t say what STEM stands for (science, technology, engineering, math).
How about the formula for calculating speed? Despite that lesson being a standard sixth-grade level topic, a full 20% of parents can’t recall that formula. (In case you forgot, it’s distance divided by time). Similarly, only 36% believe they are capable of calculating the circumference and diameter of a circle diagram. Also, less than a third can name a correct example of “potential energy” (a stretched rubber band being one answer).
Most parents (72%) worry that the switch over to remote learning this year may end up hurting their child’s developing math and science skills. Among that group, 62% feel remote learning just doesn’t provide enough “hands-on” academic experiences. Another 64% agree that science and math lessons often require one-on-one instruction between student and teacher. That’s something that is exponentially harder to attain through a computer screen.
Source: Study Finds