Exactly one year ago today, my colleague Matt Larson and I met in Sacramento, CA at the end of a long day, to hammer out was to become our newest book to be released this month: Balancingthe Equation – A Guide to School Mathematics for Educators and Parents.
This April, Matt is about to become President of NCTM, and I have a lot of respect for Matt, but when he originally pitched the idea for the book, I thought he was a bit off his rocker!
We should write a book for both Parents and Educators?
A book that cuts through all of the rhetoric and frankly the misinformation floating around about what great mathematics learning experiences should be for each and every child?
A book that addresses the history of mathematics education in the United States and how dangerous 200 years of extreme swings of the pendulum has disadvantaged adults and children alike?
A book, that provides informed research and attacks uniformed opinions?
A book that helps the reader separate the lies from the truth about the current state of mathematics education in this country, provides meaningful advice to parents and to teachers, and suggests a pathway for a better tomorrow?
“Yes”, he said, “A book like that.”
We were just starting, and I was exhausted!
And so our journey began. Co-published by Solution Tree and NCTM, the book will be released this April. And there is a lot in the book that you can use at your next neighborhood party. You know when the topic about that darn new math program creeps up: Why is it so different from my experiences at school?
Here is an excerpt from Balancing the Equation inspired by a message given by Dr. Richard DuFour of PLC fame during his keynote address at the PLC At Work institutes during the summer of 2015.
So, as educators and parents how can we overcome the inertia of the past so that our students receive a more balanced mathematical education (Thus the title, get it?) that likely differs from the one we received ourselves and graduate more mathematically proficient?
Well, to get those answers you will have to read the book! We did our best. And we hope you will agree. Maybe this will help you at that next party!!
Hiebert, J. (2013). The constantly underestimated challenge of improving mathematics instruction. In K. R. Leatham (Ed.), Vital directions for mathematics education research (pp. 45–56). New York: Springer.
Stigler, J. W., & Thompson, B. J. (2009). Thoughts on creating, accumulating, and utilizing shareable knowledge to improve teaching. Elementary School Journal, 109(5), 442–457.