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Mathnasium of Newton Helps to Change the Face of Education

Larry Martinek, a math teacher, teacher-trainer, and consultant for several private and public schools, was fed up with the method of teaching math to students. He felt as if there was a missing factor between what students were being taught, and what they would be required to know in the future. He knew there had to be a better way and he set out to find it. That was over forty years ago.

Martinek took the next three decades developing and perfecting new methods and practices, compiling a basic method and materials needed to make his new concept a success. It wasn't until 2002, when two leaders in the education industry began to see Martinek's method for what it really was and it became the "Driving force behind Mathnasium," as their website states. Today, the Mathnasium Method is changing the lives of kids across America.

"I think the biggest reason kids feel like giving up is the belief in the 'Math Gene,'" says Myrtha Chang, Education Director of Mathnasium of Newton. "If you ask a student in the United States what it takes to get good at math, many kids will say, 'Well, you got to be wired for it. You got to have the math gene.'" She continues, saying, "If you ask the same question to students outside the US, say in Singapore, Sweden, India, Finland- the answer will be very different. Same question, but the answer will be, 'Well, you got to work for it.'"

Chang explains that they try to take a new approach when they see children struggling with the subject matter. "I'll ask them, 'Do you really hate Math, or do you just hate being frustrated, confused and anxious about it?'" She adds, "Sometimes, that's the first time the student realizes it's the latter." According to Chang, there's no longer the anxiety, stress, or intimidation. "They appear more relaxed about it; they are not gripped and paralyzed even before they make an attempt," she says.

The company is looking to keep driving forward, changing the education system to benefit students as they go. "My goal is to continually coach our instructors so they are very skilled at detecting gaps, explaining math in a way that really works for the specific child and to deliver it in a warm and engaging manner," Chang explains. "That's the value of Mathnasium, and we have to strive to do that one job better and better every day."

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