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What's Math Got to Do with It?: How Parents and Teachers Can Help Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject Paperback – June 30, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143115715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143115717
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"For any parent who's ever heard a child declare, 'I hate math.'"
-Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook

" Parents and educators alike will count this book an inspiring resource."
-Publishers Weekly

" Highly accessible and enjoyable for readers who love and loathe math."
-Booklist

About the Author

Jo Boaler is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University. She was formerly the Marie Curie Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Sussex in England and a classroom teacher in London and California. She is a regular contributor to national television and radio in the United States and the U.K., and her research has appeared in newspapers around the world, including The Wall Street Journal and The Times(London). She lives in Palo Alto, California.

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Customer Reviews

I found a great deal of joy in that revelation and I found both joy and dismay throughout the book.
Frank D. Lock
As a university professor of mathematics education who has grave concerns about the state of mathematics education in the US, I was thrilled to see this book.
Julie Gainsburg
Every math teacher should read this book, since it provides an interesting and fun way to teach the common core standards.
Math Teacher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth B. on July 26, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
This book, believe it or not, is a page-turner! As someone who works with children, I read with fascination Dr. Boaler's description of exactly what I have seen among my students, my own children, and even my friends: how math in school has alienated so many of us from its true nature and its usefulness in the real world. The first half of the book identifies problems and why they are urgent, and the last half shows some things we we can do about it. It also has a lot of references so that when I talk to parents I have some back-up. I am so glad I read it and think it is a must-read for parents and teachers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Teacher Mommy in WA on March 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just wish those in charge of testing would read this book--then we could potentially teach kids challenging math instead of rote math, and turn out problem-solvers instead of human calculators.

Honestly, as a Math Teacher and as a mother, this is the best book I have ever encountered on the topic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By paraddy on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a highly recommended read if you want to understand US math education and get a good perspective on it. I would recommend it to any parent of a school aged child, particularly with all changes in US education system taking place nowadays.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Math Teacher on July 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every math teacher should read this book, since it provides an interesting and fun way to teach the common core standards. The main theme of the book is how to engage students in math through problem solving, including math puzzles. The author contributes to the "math wars", as Jo Boaler refers to, by being biased against direct teaching. I don't predict too many non-math educators enjoying this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Frank D. Lock on March 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Jo Boaler is the Marie Curie Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Sussex in England, and has written an enjoyable and important book about mathematics education in our public schools. For the last seven years of my high school teaching career I employed "modeling" strategies to teach both chemistry and physics. In the workshop preparing me to employ the strategies, I had an astounding revelation about the relationship between physics and math. As I read pages 125 - 126 in Boaler's book I had a similar revelation about a math technique used by every algebra student. I found a great deal of joy in that revelation and I found both joy and dismay throughout the book.
In the chapter titled "What's Going Wrong in Classrooms," Boaler cites the importance of effective teachers in school success, and indicates that "Good teachers can make mathematics exciting even with a dreary textbook." She describes our silent math classrooms where students feel "disempowered and disenfranchised." She identifies the heart of the problem, writing "Over time, schoolchildren realize that when you enter Mathland you leave your common sense at the door."
Boaler opens chapter nine with a statement that I found to be true during my thirty-five years as a science teacher; "I'm a big supporter of public education, but it is hard to get away from the fact that math teaching across America is of low quality." The chapter concludes with details about numerous books and web sites that have information that can be used immediately. In concluding, Boaler writes "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 an elite few, the same important insights.
I feel very fortunate to have read this book and I am motivated to work to implement the ideas and strategies Jo Boaler advocates. Every person concerned with STEM education issues should read this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MathRules! on March 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A book review in the January 2011 edition of The American Mathematical Monthly highly recommended What's Math Got To Do With It? Having read the book, I recommend it without reservation to any teacher of mathematics from elementary school through college and to parents of children in math classes at any level. Jo Boaler is an internationally known expert in mathematics education and a scholarly advocate of the mathematics reform movement. In addition to all the interesting studies that Dr. Boaler presents in support of her positions, the book has the benefit of being a very easy read. So much of what she said rang true to me based upon my experiences as a student and a teacher in math classes and upon my work in industry as a mathematical modeler.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cgm on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written for parents and teachers and provides a realistic view of what is happening in today's schools regarding mathematics.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DC Sistah on September 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a straight-forward, easy to read analysis of why so many of us HATE math, why it is so important for schools to turn this situation around, and what we can do to change the situation. Boaler argues that the math that we learn in school is no longer the math that we need in our lives and provides excellent examples to illustrate her points.

A must - read for all parents of school-aged children as well as citizens who want to understand how we can solve this critical problem.
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