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# What's Math Got to Do with It?: Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject--and Why It's Important for America

by
Jo Boaler

A recent assessment of mathematics performance around the world ranked the United States twenty-eighth out of forty countries in the study. When the level of spending was taken into account, we sank to the very bottom of the list. According to Jo Boaler, who was a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University for nine years, statistics like these are becoming
...more

Hardcover, 288 pages

Published
July 17th 2008
by Viking

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## Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)

As another reviewer says, the title explicitly states that every kid in America hates math, which isn't true. She repeatedly refers to students having been "traumatized" by their ...more

And now I do. I do not have a learning disability in math. My teachers have had teaching disabilities. Math is a subject that is not taught well (from sources other than this book, I learned that it hasn't been taught well for a long time. Students taking advanced math classes have steadily dropped th ...more

Aug 18, 2009
Valerie
rated it
it was amazing

Recommends it for:
all teachers

Recommended to Valerie by:
Bill Ward

Shelves:
math

This is exactly the book I needed to read right now. I always want to encourage flexible thinking, pattern recognition and problem solving, but I hold myself back because of worry about standardized testing. I worry that my classroom will be seen as noisy and non-productive, because I encourage my students to ask questions, and collaborate. I felt very ineffective last year, because I hovered between what I felt was interesting and what I felt I 'should' be doing. This book not only validated my
...more

Boaler slams the useless high-stakes tests created for No Child Left Beh ...more

She repeatedly states that current instruction methods are inadequate and describes superior ones, suggest ...more

Apr 19, 2011
Jeff
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
education,
mathematics

GO READ THIS BOOK! What's Math Got to Do with It is the best articulation of where American math education should be headed in the 21st century that I have ever read. Boaler's book aimed towards parents and teachers is instantly accessible, with a clear rationale for why children need to be engaged in interesting complex problem solving in math throughout their educational experience as opposed to regular practice of standard algorithms. She backs up her work with her own and others' research ma
...more

She studied groups of students from middle school to high school, a ...more

Definitely a must read for math teachers.

Opportunity to "spend part of each lesson working alone and part of each lesson talking with each other and sharing ideas about math." (p 3) (How to decide which parts in which format?)

"Whether browsing the Web, interpreting medical records, administering medicine, reading the news, working with finances, or taking part in elections, twenty-first-century citizens need mathematics. But the mathematics that people need is not the sort of math learned ...more

p. 133: From Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist and author of the book The Female Brain: "A huge testosterone surge beginning in the eighth week of pregnancy kills cells in the communication centers of male brains and grows more cells i ...more

I would have given the book five stars, but I felt its focus on equity in the classroom undermined the goal of simply making the classroom better for everyone, for the sake of ideology and in disagreement with existing research. In particular, I found th ...more

"Mathematicians will tell you that the subject they care so much about is a living, connected, and beautiful subject. This book is about giving all children, not only ...more

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info | 1 | 5 | Jul 02, 2009 08:34AM |

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“When an official report in the UK was commissioned to examine the mathematics needed in the workplace, the investigator found that estimation was the most useful mathematical activity. Yet when children who have experienced traditional math classes are asked to estimate, they are often completely flummoxed and try to work out exact answers, then round them off to look like an estimate. This is because they have not developed a good feel for numbers, which would allow them to estimate instead of calculate, and also because they have learned, wrongly, that mathematics is all about precision, not about making estimates or guesses. Yet both are at the heart of mathematical problem solving.”
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1 likes

“Grades may be useful for communicating where students are in relation to each other, and it is fine to give them at the end of a semester or term, but if they are given more frequently than that, they will reduce the achievement of many.”
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