Mathematics education uncovered and recovered

A silver lining

Jo Boaler continues her mission to bring meaning into maths teaching and joy into its learning. The Stanford University project YouCubed draws attention to common problems in maths teaching and offers some insight into what works best, supported by educational research. Her enthusiasm is highly commendable, and I would encourage everyone interested to visit the website. You can read the thought-provoking articles on mathematics teaching and learning, or maybe join one of the courses and workshops.

To me, most of her criticism about common school practices appears obvious, but these practices are so deeply-rooted that it does make sense to repeat the same point again and again.

Try to talk to a primary school teacher about the damage of the speed tests, when the children are given a long list of times tables questions to answer in five or so minutes. You will be politely listened to and reassured that the school does the best for the children. But the next day they most likely will get another speed test.Times tables speed test

In this situation, it is very useful to have at hand a convincing piece of writing that the teachers can look at: Research Suggests Timed Tests Cause Math Anxiety. Then, hopefully, some things might change for the better.


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