Parents to blame for science and maths skills gap because they put children off the subjects, industry leader warns

The Telegraph is reporting that mothers and fathers who make negative remarks such as “I hate maths” are discouraging youngsters from pursuing the subjects, according to David Lakin, who is head of education at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

A poll of 1,000 parents commissioned by the IET, a professional membership organisation for engineers, found that rather than helping children with their science and maths homework, three quarters of parents rely on Google.

A quarter of parents admitted that their own lack of confidence in STEM subjects has affected their children’s progress.

As a result of parental attitudes to STEM subjects, the UK faces the prospect of “falling behind in expertise at a global level because of a nationwide shortage of young engineering enthusiasts”, the IET warned.

Mr Lakin said “This study suggests that parents are subconsciously dissuading their children through their attitudes towards STEM.  We want to equip them with the knowledge and skills to better support and encourage their children in these areas, regardless of their own level of expertise.”

According to the survey, the most common response of parents when asked to help children with homework is “It was taught differently when I was at school”, followed by “Google it”. The third most popular answer was “I need a calculator”.

Read more Parents to blame for science and maths skills gap because they put children off the subjects, industry leader warns

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