Fantasy sports are no longer just looked at as games with no real point, which sports fans play in order to have fun, stay up to date with sports in general, and feel as though they are managing a professional sports team. Recently, fantasy sports have been looked at in an academic perspective and it has started to be applied to kid’s mathematics education. Since it started being used, it has helped to improve mathematics test scores that have remained stagnant across the nation for the past six years.
This improvement can be credited to fantasy sports allowing students to learn and understand mathematics in an easier and more enjoyable way that motivates them to want do their work. Fantasy sports do not just benefit students academically, but it also helps them to develop their social lives. The U. S. Department of Education had a study which showed that mathematical scores of fifteen year olds all around the United States have remained around the same level since 2003.
Some people believed that fantasy sports could help kids better understand mathematics and start increasing children’s mathematical scores. Flockhart said, “Sixty-nine percent of eighth-grade students in America are not proficient in math. I believe fantasy sports can play a significant role in eliminating math illiteracy in our country. ” Results have shown that Flockhart and those that agreed with were and are still correct to this day. Fantasy sports have been proven that they can be used to help teach children.
It has been proven to be more affective because the children look forward to doing their math homework every day. In turn, this has caused many of their math scores to rise. Kim Beason, who is an associate professor of park and recreation management at UM, worked with Dan Flockhart, a former California middle school teacher who has written a series of mathematics textbooks, to begin looking at the impact of using fantasy sports in mathematics education. Their national study had some very surprising but encouraging results.
It shows that fantasy sports have increased math test scores by nearly fifty percent among middle school students. One specific example of this can be seen from Woodbine School in New Jersey. The percentage of 8th grade students who tested proficient at Woodbine School in New Jersey increased from 10% to 54% in one year after using fantasy sports. Student’s scores across the country increased in areas ranging from algebraic formulas to fractions, showing how effective fantasy sports being used in mathematics education really is.
There are results from 144 teachers that used fantasy sports to help teach their math classes. There is an ongoing survey that is co-sponsored by the University of Mississippi regarding the use of fantasy sports in mathematics. The surveys intention is to show the overall and continued effectiveness in student’s performances in the classroom along with the teachers opinion take on this new way of teaching mathematics. The results of this survey have been outstanding so far.
There is hope that fantasy sports will help turn this trend around, causing children to have a love for mathematics at a young age and they will want to pursue it even more as they grow up. Although the survey results showed that teachers thought fantasy sports helped them teach and connect with their students better, they didn’t see this outcome immediately. Many teachers said that when they first started implementing the fantasy games, it took a lot longer to get going smoothly then they thought it would. Once the transition was over and a routine was established, all the teachers agreed that the time commitment was a lot less intense and their students had a much better understanding, allowing them to work quicker and more independent.
All the teachers also agreed that the extra amount of time they each had to dedicate in order to get this learning process off the ground was worthwhile because of the great gain their students got out of it. Here are some reactions of teachers regarding the start-up process according to www. fantasysportsmath. com. “Since this was my first time using the program it took my students and I a little while to get started. Now that we have been working on it and gotten into a routine it has become much easier. ” “It took awhile to explain and show students what to do but once they caught on it really took off. ” “The amount of time spent decreases as the season goes on.
My students needed a lot of time and assistance at first – by week 4, they were working independently and quickly. ” All three of these quotes attest to the fact that it was an adjustment for both the teachers and the students in the beginning, but it paid off for both sides in a very positive way, once everything was understood and put into place. Using fantasy sports to help teach mathematics might seem a little gender biased towards males, but data indicates that this isn’t necessarily the case. Teachers have come to recognize that females don’t originally have the same level of excitement that the guys do when it comes to this new way of learning.