Increasing Public Understanding of Effective Math Teaching.

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Increasing Public Understanding of Effective Math Teaching.

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Increasing Public Understanding of Effective Math Teaching.

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Jo Boaler,

Marie Curie Professor

The University of Sussex.

- Part 1: Setting the Scene
- Part 2: Learning About Public Views of Mathematics Teaching
- Questions / Discussion

- Is the subject with the biggest gap between what we know works from research and what happens in most classrooms

Response From the Math

Education Community,

Educational Researcher,

next month

- Making research findings more accessible
&

- More broadly available to general public

- Writing a Book for the public

- Writing a Book for the public
- Contacting Politicians
- “this makes perfect sense”

- Writing a Book for the public
- Contacting Politicians
- “this makes perfect sense”

- Contacting the Press

- Writing a Book for the public
- Contacting Politicians
- “this makes perfect sense”

- Contacting the Press
- Writing Op-Ed articles

- Where Has All The Knowledge Gone? The Movement to Keep Americans at the Bottom of the Class in Math.
- Oct 8th, 2008

- Writing a Book for the public
- Contacting Politicians
- “this makes perfect sense”

- Contacting the Press
- Writing Op-Ed articles

- Mathematics Education Professionals (us)

- Problem solve – using & applying methods
- Talk about math, discussing methods
- Use own ideas, not only repeat methods
- Make connections between methods

USA School Mathematics

Mathematics in the World

Mathematics used by Mathematicians

- Many more students were successful because there were many more ways to be successful.

- IN or
- OUT

- Most Hated Subject – twice as many voted for math as any other subject
- Most Liked Subject.
- Reflects the “in” or “out” nature of school math

- Mathematics Education Professionals
- Groups who campaign to preserve the exclusive, in-out, narrow version of math

Mathematics Education Groups

Mainstream Publisher

(Viking & Penguin)

How it came about.

- No idea
- Misled
- Very important

- Mainly 10-15 minutes
- Conversations with djs sharing their thoughts, interests, concerns
- 30 mins NPR “The Morning Show” & 1 hour “The Exchange” New Hampshire Public Radio (members of public called in)

- Blowing apart the idea that math success is a sign of general intelligence
- Not engaging in narrow math is perfectly reasonable

- Surprise and Relief
- More than half shared Tales of Trauma
Eg Kitty Dunn, “weekend perspective”

Vast majority disliked math, 1 or 2 liked it – all saw the need for change.

- Need for help with life (finances etc)
- Need for engagement “there is nothing worse than having to memorize a bunch of theorems”
- Music metaphor (“the Morning Show” NPR)

- Mathematical notation no more is mathematics than musical notation is music. A page of sheet music represents a piece of music, but the notation and the music are not the same; the music itself happens when the notes on the page are sung or performed on a musical instrument. It is in its performance that the music comes alive” (The Math Gene, 2000, p9)

- Mathematics is a performance, a living act, a way of interpreting the world. Imagine music lessons in which students worked through hundreds of hours of sheet music, adjusting the notes on the page, receiving checks and crosses from the teachers, but never playing the music. Students would not continue with the subject because they would never experience what music is. Yet this is the situation that continues, seemingly unabated in mathematics classes. (What’s Math Got To Do With It’ p29)

- Need for help with life
- Need for engagement “there is nothing worse than having to memorize a bunch of theorems” (various) – music metaphor
- Need for Problem solving (Morning Show)
- Need for Reasoning (& groupwork) (KCMN)

- The Purity

Jim Parisi

Qu: who likes math for its purity?

A: Yes

B: No

- The Purity
- The Tests

- Anti-reformers have worked actively, effectively, and unethically to oppose changes to math teaching, but how wide is their influence?
- They have created a fiction around their own importance
- I got the overwhelming sense that no-one had made these points to these people, but when they heard them they completely understood the issues

- As powerful as traditional groups have been, they do not well represent the public
- We need to question how they have managed to have such influence
- We need to be outraged by what they have done and continue to do
- It is our responsibility, as those who know about children’s learning, to educate the public and politicians

Mathematics Education Groups