Season 5, Episode 1

Investigating math anxiety in the classroom

Season 5 is here! This season, we’ll be talking all about math anxiety: what it is, what causes it, and what we can do to prevent or ease this anxiety in the math classroom. To launch this very important theme, we sat down with Dr. Gerardo Ramirez, associate professor of educational psychology at Ball State University. As someone who’s been studying math anxiety for more than a decade, he had some interesting research and advice to share on why math anxiety affects so many students (and adults), and tips for how to start reducing it. Listen now and don’t forget to grab your MTL study guide to track your learning and make the most of this episode!

Meet our guest(s):

Dr. Gerardo Ramirez

Dr. Gerardo Ramirez obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he studied the role of teachers and parents in shaping the math attitudes of their students, as well as reappraisal techniques to help students cope with anxiety during testing situations.

Dr. Ramirez is currently an associate professor at Ball State, where he examines the role of frustration, empathy, and cultural capital in shaping students’ success and persistence.

Meet our hosts: Bethany Lockhart Johnson and Dan Meyer

Bethany Lockhart Johnson is an elementary school educator and author. Prior to serving as a multiple-subject teacher, she taught theater and dance, and now loves incorporating movement and creative play into her classroom. Bethany is committed to helping students find joy in discovering their identities as mathematicians. In addition to her role as a full-time classroom teacher, Bethany is a Student Achievement Partners California Core Advocate and is active in national and local mathematics organizations. Bethany is a member of the Illustrative Mathematics Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee and serves as a consultant, creating materials to support families during distance learning.

Dan Meyer taught high school math to students who didn’t like high school math. He has advocated for better math instruction on CNN, Good Morning America, Everyday With Rachel Ray, and He earned his doctorate from Stanford University in math education and is currently the Dean of Research at Desmos, where he explores the future of math, technology, and learning. Dan has worked with teachers internationally and in all 50 United States and was named one of Tech & Learning’s 30 Leaders of the Future.


"A lot of students struggle with math, and we want to normalize that struggle as much as possible. We have to find opportunities to tell better stories and reflect on our experiences." —Dr. Gerardo Ramirez

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