- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 2, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470894520
- ISBN-13: 978-0470894521
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students' Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR MATHEMATICAL MINDSETS
"Mistakes, struggles, creativity, beauty, flexibility, equityJo Boaler uses these words to describe a vision of mathematics where every student thrives and becomes a mathematical thinker. By following Boaler's roadmap, perhaps we can once and for all lay to rest decades of archaic and destructive notions about what it takes to be good at math."
Cathy Seeley, Past President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and author of Faster Isn't Smarter and Smarter Than We Think
"Jo Boaler is justifiably tired of all the uninformed BS about math education. Too many children's lives are being harmed. In this book, she takes the gloves off and comes out fighting. Her weapon? Scientific data. Lots of it. A readable, engaging, compelling case for revolutionizing math education. Ignore her message and you (or your children, or your students) will be locked out of much of the 21st Century."
Dr. Keith Devlin, Stanford University mathematician, NPR "Math Guy," and author of Mathematics Education for a New Era
"Jo Boaler calls out the mindsets that can cripple a student's aptitude for math and ways to change them. More than just a replacement set of positive messages, Jo's book elaborates practical, research-tested strategies for teaching, assessment, practice, and homeworkall to help a student learn and love to learn mathematics."
Dan Meyer, former math teacher, Chief Academic Officer at Desmos, author, and consultant
Scores of students hate and fear math, so they end up leaving school without an understanding of basic mathematical concepts. How can we help all children know that they have vast mathematics potential? How can teachers instruct in a way that brings this belief to life?
Drawing on her extensive research with thousands of students, author Jo Boaler reveals how teachers, parents, and other caregivers can transform children's ideas and experiences of math through a positive growth mindset method. Filled with illustrative examples, Mathematical Mindsets is an important guide to the information, techniques, and activities that can be put in place to make math more enjoyable and achievable for all students. Mathematical Mindsets shows how the entire approach to math teaching and learningfrom paying attention to the math questions and reviewing the tasks students work on to the methods teachers and parents use to encourage or grade studentsneeds to be changed to help students realize the joys of learning and understanding math.
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Top Customer Reviews
Parents of students who are struggling in math will welcome learning about the research on math phobia and will find that Boaler provides much practical advice on how to change course.
Parents of high-achieving math students need to read this book since it provides an important counterpoint to the default of channeling "gifted" students into accelerated math tracks, often without ever giving them a chance to explore math beyond an algorithmic level. You'll have a much better idea of what you might want to advocate for in order to serve your child well through their educational career.
Anyone interested in advancing educational equity will find that Boaler has much to say about how the teaching of math has historically contributed to inequity, and how it needs to be part of the way forward.
Teachers and administrators interested in de-tracking their math programs will want to read this book because it not only provides important rationales for creating heterogeneous classrooms but also explains the comprehensive changes in pedagogy that are necessary for all students to be empowered and challenged.
Pros: Well written with lots of good information on the psychology of learning as it relates to mathematics (brain plasticity, growth mindsets, etc.) I really like the positive reinforcement message given here, as well as how to help students overcome some negative attitudes with respect to education in general, and math in particular. There are also some good examples of teachers and students who have had some success in inquiry based learning.
Cons: No overall big problems, but a lot of little things that detracted for me.
The author kind of likes to toot her own horn. Dr. Boaler is a subject matter expert with lots of good experience to share, but it sometimes comes off as smarmy "look what I've discovered that no one else seems to realize!" Call me cynical, but not everyone is oblivious to the issues being presented here.
I'm not sure we benefit from more of a message that math would be easier if only teachers would open their eyes to what maths really are and would teach it differently. No kidding. However, until teachers have professional discretionary judgement within their classroom, i.e., not being told what to do by politicians with political motives or administrators who have to toe-the-line with school boards, not much is going to change. Get the monkeys off my back and let me teach the math classes I want and life would be a lot better for not only myself but my students. (Granted, in that case I probably would introduce more of the techniques in this book :)
The bigger problem I have it that I'm not at all a fan of the "inquiry based education model " which seems to be advocated by this book. It is one of many systems of education that with certain teachers under certain conditions with certain students may be highly effective. But it is not a cure-all for math education reform. Much of my dislike of inquire based education is based on my own experiences with it, mostly as a student but also as a teacher without the resources to pull it off. For example, this summer I took several math classes pseudo-under-cover to try them out. I wanted to see how the material has changed since I was in class and compare what they do with what I need to do in my own classes. I found it a miserable experience. Group work was just as painful now as it was when I was "just" a student in school -- you only have a few people interested in actually doing the work, you have a few that would rather talk about pop-culture and goof off, and there is always at least one joker who doesn't care about their own grade nor bringing everyone else down with them. I'm not at all the fan of the mentality that students will not be told the material having the material formally presented to them. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I kind of want a subject matter expert there to actually present the material to me and help guide me through the work, not just set up explorations for me to stumble through and never know key concepts of the material. If not for needing an official record of taking the class, a person would be better off with a library card and someone to work with.
So, I do think anyone interested in math education should pick up the book to read. It is valuable. But take some of it with a grain of salt and realize that different teachers have strengths and weaknesses, different students have different strengths and weaknesses, and when we give teachers the autonomy to teach their subject the best they can we can do wonders.
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