Season 5, Episode 2

Uncovering the causes of math anxiety

We’re continuing our season theme of math anxiety, going beyond the basics, diving deeper into what causes it, and how we can help students move forward. In this episode, we talk to Dr. Erin Maloney from the University of Ottawa to better understand what’s actually happening in the brain when a person experiences math anxiety, and how we can take steps to shift student mindsets in a positive direction. 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. Erin Maloney

Dr. Erin Maloney is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa. Her research sits at the intersection of Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Education and focuses on cognitive and emotional factors that relate to academic achievement. She is a world-renowned expert on the study of math anxiety, conducting research in the lab, in homes, and in classrooms with children, parents, and their teachers. She is passionate about both knowledge mobilization and equity, diversity, and inclusion within education and science.

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.


“If we can change their mindset, then we can set students on a path to more opportunities and success.” —Dr. Erin Maloney

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