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The Experience Gap and Informal Learning

In each episode of the Inside Our MIND podcast, we take a look at issues and challenges facing education that we are working to address through research, technology and strategic initiatives.

In our latest episode, MIND’s Lead Mathematician Brandon Smith joins Brian once again, this time for a discussion on informal learning. Brandon first explains how the achievement gap and the perception gap are symptoms of a larger problem called the experience gap. He then delves into the work ongoing MIND has been doing to bridge that experience gap, and the lessons learned along the way. Brandon also shares a bit about MathMINDs Games: South of the Sahara, which re-imagine storytelling to connect math, games and history. MIND will be sharing much more about the games in early October.

The idea of the experience gap is we have this dissonance between the types of experiences with math we could have, and the ones we have access to--the types that exist.

- Brandon Smith

You can listen to the episode in the player below:

Topics Covered in the Podcast:


0:45 Intro
3:45 The Achievement, Opportunity and Perception Gaps
6:20 Math Anxiety and Parental Influences
7:35 The Experience Gap
9:30 Moving Beyond the Classroom
10:45 Friendship and Culture Building with Math
12:45 Scaling Experiences for Accessibility and Impact
15:00 Designing Experiences that Build a Friendship with Math
21:00 Applying Lessons We’ve Learned
29:20 Using Storytelling to Break Through the Rules Barrier
36:30 MathMINDs Games: South of the Sahara

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Additional Resources:

Brian LeTendre

About the Author

Brian LeTendre orchestrates content development at MIND Research Institute. He is an author, podcaster and avid gamer.

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