Discovery Files

Are you a math person?

Talk to education researcher Jere Confrey and you realize that's not really the right question. Everyone can find a way in to mathematics

Although it may be culturally acceptable for Americans to say that they just aren't math people, it's really not true, and it can encourage a feeling of powerlessness.

Instead, mathematics education researcher Jere Confrey suggests people can be taught mathematics in a way that takes advantage of the different aspects and representations of math and helps them find their way in to understanding the subject.

We had an opportunity to talk with Confrey, who is Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor in the College of Education at NC State University. She has received NSF support over the years for her research. In the accompanying video, she addresses some of the reasons people struggle with math, and looks ahead to the use of digital tools and resources to transform mathematics education.