Susan Midlarsky

author • consultant • tutor | inspiring excellence
Adult Education Math Education US Education

Math Meaning for Adults


The more I travel and meet people, the more I find that most adults in the US have difficulty with math. I read a comment by a woman from Eastern Europe who found that while she was a mediocre math student in her home country, she was miles ahead of American students when she moved here. She couldn’t understand why, with all the time and finance poured into math education here, including an average of 1.5 hours per day of math class, her children were progressing in math far less well than she had when growing up.

I think part of the reason is that we have a couple of generations of adults who just don’t have a strong grasp of math concepts, especially when it comes to basic number sense. Various adults have approached me and asked if I would teach a math class so at least they wouldn’t pass on their own math phobias to their children, and maybe they could even help their children with their homework and learning. The latest of these I met were a couple of lovely older women in Oklahoma who were staying at the same hotel as I for an agriculture convention.

Reaching these adults presents a challenge because of the distance. Attending a teacher workshop would be overkill and too expensive. So I came up with the idea, what about an online course offering math fundamentals for adults? I think it could benefit a lot of people.

What do you think? Do you, or anyone you know, think you or they might benefit from it? If you were to take such a course, what would you want to be part of it? Let me know!

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