Increasing public understanding of effective math teaching
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Increasing Public Understanding of Effective Math Teaching. Jo Boaler, Marie Curie Professor The University of Sussex. Today. Part 1: Setting the Scene Part 2: Learning About Public Views of Mathematics Teaching Questions / Discussion. Math….

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Increasing public understanding of effective math teaching

Increasing Public Understanding of Effective Math Teaching.

Jo Boaler,

Marie Curie Professor

The University of Sussex.


Today

Today

  • Part 1: Setting the Scene

  • Part 2: Learning About Public Views of Mathematics Teaching

  • Questions / Discussion


Increasing public understanding of effective math teaching

Math…

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


National math panel report

National Math Panel Report

Response From the Math

Education Community,

Educational Researcher,

next month


New ways of working

New ways of working

  • Making research findings more accessible

    &

  • More broadly available to general public


My journey

My journey ..

  • Writing a Book for the public


My journey1

My journey

  • Writing a Book for the public

  • Contacting Politicians

    • “this makes perfect sense”


My journey2

My journey

  • Writing a Book for the public

  • Contacting Politicians

    • “this makes perfect sense”

  • Contacting the Press


My journey3

My journey

  • Writing a Book for the public

  • Contacting Politicians

    • “this makes perfect sense”

  • Contacting the Press

  • Writing Op-Ed articles


Recent ed week article

Recent Ed Week Article

  • Where Has All The Knowledge Gone? The Movement to Keep Americans at the Bottom of the Class in Math.

  • Oct 8th, 2008


My journey4

My journey

  • Writing a Book for the public

  • Contacting Politicians

    • “this makes perfect sense”

  • Contacting the Press

  • Writing Op-Ed articles


Different knowledge groups

Different Knowledge Groups

  • Mathematics Education Professionals (us)


Mathematics education professionals us

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


What is the problem

What is the problem?

USA School Mathematics


Increasing public understanding of effective math teaching

Mathematics in the World

Mathematics used by Mathematicians


At railside school

At Railside school

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


Mathematics as a subject

Mathematics as a subject:

  • IN or

  • OUT


Aol news poll

AOL News Poll

  • 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


Different knowledge groups1

Different Knowledge Groups

  • Mathematics Education Professionals

  • Groups who campaign to preserve the exclusive, in-out, narrow version of math


Mathematics education groups

Mathematics Education Groups


A book

A book

Mainstream Publisher

(Viking & Penguin)

How it came about.


Other academics

Other academics…

  • No idea

  • Misled

  • Very important


20 radio interviews

20+ radio interviews

  • 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)


The radio stations

The radio stations


Increasing public understanding of effective math teaching

WAFE

  • Blowing apart the idea that math success is a sign of general intelligence

  • Not engaging in narrow math is perfectly reasonable


How did they react

How did they react?

  • 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.


What they cared about

What they cared about:

  • 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)


Keith devlin

Keith Devlin

  • 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)


Continuing the music metaphor

Continuing the music metaphor…

  • 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)


What they cared about1

What they cared about:

  • 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)


2 issues

2 issues

  • The Purity

Jim Parisi

Qu: who likes math for its purity?

A: Yes

B: No


2 issues1

2 issues

  • The Purity

  • The Tests


In conclusion

In Conclusion ..

  • 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


Increasing public understanding of effective math teaching

  • 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 groups1

Mathematics Education Groups


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