If, on the other hand, you start working the day I give you the midterm, you'll be frustrated.
You'll come to me and say, 'It's impossible.' I'll tell you to keep working and by week two, you'll find you'll make significant progress."
We sometimes think of being good at mathematics as an innate ability. You either have it, or you don't.
But to Schoenfeld, it's not so much ability as attitude. You master mathematics if you are willing to try.
That's what Schoenfeld attempts to teach his students.
Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes
To make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.
Put a bunch of Renees in a classroom, and give them the space and time to explore mathematics with themselves, and you could go a long way.
Or imagine a country where Renee's doggedness is not the exception, but a cultural trait,
Embedded as deeply as the culture of honor in the Cumberland Plateau.Now that would be a country good at math.
Every four years, an international group of educators administers a comprehensive mathematics and science test to elementary and junior high school students around the world.
It's called the TIMSS (the same test we discussed earlier when looking at differences between forth grader born near the beginning of a school cutoff date and those born near the end of the date),
And the point of the TIMSS is to allow us to compare the educational achievement of one country with another.
When students sit down to TIMSS exam, they also have to fill out a questionnaire.
It asks them all kinds of things, such as what their parent's level of education is, or what their views about math are, or what their friends are like.
It's not a trivial exercise. It's about 120 questions long.
In fact, it is so tedious and demanding that many students leave as many as ten or twenty questions blank.