Maths Values / Beliefs

A collection of some of the core things I hope to hang onto in the maths classroom, including links to ideas that connect well with my values/beliefs/philosophy etc.

Dan Meyer has certainly been influential and this recent post titled “Engagement in Math: 3 Places to Start” ticks a few boxes, as well as his thought around ‘real and not real-world‘ (quote from that page: “The distinction between the “real” and “not real” world doesn’t exist and insisting on it makes everyone’s job harder“). A theme he continues to discuss. One of the thoughts from a later piece of his talks around ensuring it’s not just that we want to make the maths interesting to kids, but that as teachers we want to find the kids interesting – ie. build on their ideas.

Someone else made a comment linking off something Dan said to around the whole ‘real-world’/’when will I use this’ debate is that when a student asks that question, turn it around and ask them: ‘how are you feeling about this topic?’. Often there is an underlying struggle there as the reason for this question that this can draw out, to the point where the comment writer experienced the student forgetting about their own question and moving on with understanding.

Another interesting resource I wanted to hang onto was this paper on maths myths that affect teaching – deals with things like growth mindset myths, grappling/grapple ideas of productive struggle, math anxiety/timed tasks, explicit instruction etc. Covers a lot in 10 pages here (AP38-Myths-That-Undermine-Maths-Teaching-1).

Over here, in 2023, Dr Catherine Attard investigates best practices in Mathematics, concluding that: “the only best practice in mathematics education is the education that best addresses the needs of your students, at your school, in this moment

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