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‘Misplaced cultural attitudes’ driving staggeringly low number of maths students

“Misplaced cultural attitudes” have been blamed for Australia’s falling number of advanced mathematics students.

Disengaged girls are driving the decrease, with only 7 per cent of female students studying advanced maths or higher-level maths in year 12.

Tim Brown, director at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, said a teaching “crisis” was largely to blame.

“I think that’s because we have a teaching crisis in Australia and some possibly misplaced cultural attitudes towards the importance of studying challenging subjects that are going to prepare students very well for a very different future,” he said.

“We need teachers showing students how advanced mathematics can be applied in many ways in future jobs.”

Click PLAY to hear Ross and John chat with Professor Tim Brown