About MiMa

“MiMa – Mathematics in the Making” is an EU-sponsored programme which aims to raise primary school children’s interest and competence in mathematics by developing a new methodology based on hands-on-activities.

The idea for the project “MiMa - Mathematics in the Making” was born by ‘in the field’ observations of common problems related to math teaching in schools. The observations made ‘in the field’ produced the following common findings between the partners: the negative attitude of the majority of young students toward math starts since the early stages of education and teachers do not have effective tools to ‘cure’ it. Some European education systems register persistent scarce performances in math of their 15-year-old students in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) held every three years. Besides numeracy competences, young students also lack verbal expression competences, not being capable to express concepts and thoughts following a logic pattern in their speaking and writing.

University researchers, experts and math teachers involved in the project commonly experienced that many young students make the definite decision to ‘give up’ on maths during early school ages, because of a lack of motivation related to different factors. Students tend to perceive that math is a topic too abstract to be fully understood, it requires only repetitive and mechanical operations that have nothing to do with reality. Moreover, students – and parents too – reckon math as a very difficult topic that only naturally ‘gifted’ people can comprehend. Indeed, some national studies explained the high percentage of students that did poorly in the math section of the PISA test in 2009 with reasons that are strictly connected to these beliefs.