Top Ten Issues in Math Education
What do you see as the biggest issues in math education? A
community college math teacher wants to know — and recently
posted her top ten list.
Two different statements that begin "If you're going to teach
math...." rate as most important for Sue VanHattum. She
elaborates on those and other positions, such as
Textbooks are trouble
Real mathematicians ask why and what if
Math itself is the authority — not the curriculum, not
the teacher, not the standards committee
This ranking by VanHattum, a teacher and mother who also blogs
as "Math Mama," revises an earlier post of hers:
Each top ten list has elicited thoughtful responses, including
from other blogging teachers, authors, speakers at the annual
meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
(NCTM), and a volunteer from the Math Forum's Ask Dr.
VanHattum's post to the De Morgan Journal — an online forum
and blog of the London Mathematical Society (LMS) that first
featured in these pages a year and a half ago — has inspired a
mathematician who blogs for the American Mathematical Society
(AMS) to come up with a countdown of her own:
PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week
"To solve the second problem, I made a table. I also noticed
that the angle size increased before it decreased, leading
me to ..."
- Keegan, highlighted in the Algebra PoW's Latest Solution
Math Teachers' Circle Workshops
Apply now for the professional development opportunity "How to
Run a Math Teachers' Circle," offered by the American Institute
of Mathematics (AIM).
Math teachers' circles (MTCs) put middle school math teachers
in regular contact with mathematicians to work collaboratively
on mathematical problem solving in the context of rich
problems. Nearly three dozen states already have an MTC, and
seven cities plan to roll out new circles soon. For a map of
these member circles, check out
The deadline to apply for AIM's "How to Run a Math Teachers'
Circle" summer workshops is Saturday, 15 March.
Now taking place: math education conversation of the day
"Most amazing Noticing and Wondering with my Alg class. Thx
@maxmathforum and @MFAnnie for the great chapter in PPS!"
- Megan, tweeted to @maxmathforum and @MFAnnie
Symbolab's Solution Steps and Practice Widgets
On Sunday, Symbolab Solutions rolled out some nifty updates to
its step-by-step online problem solver:
Symbolab now prominently displays theorems and definitions;
provides clickable information points; and discreetly
incorporates description and structure with rules, tips, and
Symbolab has also just released a practice widget that can be
embedded into any site. For a small demo of it in action with
integrals, check out
CEO Michal Avny invites teachers to contact the Symbolab team
for personalized versions: "If any site or school would like to
use the widget, we would be happy to customize it to
accommodate their needs." To request your own, use the site
A year and a half ago — shortly after we featured Symbolab's
launch as a semantic search engine for math — it indexed Ask
Dr. Math's archive of more than 11,000 questions and answers.
So if you enter equations or text into Symbolab's search box,
expect to see some familiar results ... from the Forum's