Teachers and parents have a tendency to label children “good” or “bad” in math and science from an early age. Dr. Erin Maloney, Canada Research Chair in Academic Achievement and Well-Being, aims to understand the cognitive and emotional factors that underlie success in these subjects, with particular attention to how these factors are passed between parents and their children.
Maloney and her research team are analyzing data collected from controlled laboratory-based experiments and large-scale studies in classrooms and homes to understand the influence of factors like anxieties, stereotypes and stress. They are also studying cognitive factors—such as numerical and spatial representation and strategy use—on math and science learning and achievement. Ultimately, their research will lead to policy recommendations to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Canada.