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Topic: [ncsm-members] New Online Course/Stanford Univ.: Jo Boaler, Professor
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ncsm-members] New Online Course/Stanford Univ.: Jo Boaler, Professor
Posted: May 16, 2013 2:17 PM
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Sent at the request of Jo Boaler.
New online course for teachers and students of math: How to Learn Math

By Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education, Stanford University.

In July 2013 a new course will be launched on Stanford's free on-line
platform. The course is a short intervention designed to change
students' relationships with math. I have taught this intervention
successfully in the past (in classrooms); it caused students to
re-engage successfully with math, taking a new approach to the
subject and their learning.

In the 2013-2014 school year the course will be offered to learners
of math but on July 15th, 2013 I will release a version of the course
designed for teachers and other helpers of math learners, such as
parents. In the teacher/parent version I will share the ideas I will
present to students and hold a conversation with teachers and parents
about the ideas. There will also be sessions giving teachers/parents
particular strategies for achieving changes in students and
opportunities for participants to work together on ideas through the
forum pages. The ideas I will share will be really helpful as
teachers prepare to implement the new Common Core State Standards.

The course is available for signing up now at:


The 8 sessions.

1. Knocking down the myths about math.

Math is not about speed, memorization or learning lots of rules.
There is no such thing as "math people" and non-math people. Girls
are equally capable of the highest achievement. This session will
include interviews with students.

2. Math and Mindset.

Participants will be encouraged to develop a growth mindset, they
will see new evidence of the brain and learning and of how a growth
mindset can change students' learning trajectories and beliefs about

3.Teaching Math for a Growth Mindset.

This session will give strategies to teachers and parents for helping
students develop a growth mindset and will include an interview with
Carol Dweck.

4. Mistakes, challenges & persistence.

What is math persistence? Why are mistakes so important? How is math
linked to creativity? This session will focus on the importance of
mistakes, struggles and persistence.

5. Conceptual Learning. Part I. Number sense

Math is a conceptual subject- we will see evidence of the importance
of conceptual thinking and participants will be given number problems
that can be solved in many ways and represented visually.

6. Conceptual Learning. Part 2. Connections, Representations, Questions.

In this session we will look at and solve math problems at many
different grade levels and see the difference in approaching them
procedurally and conceptually. Interviews with successful users of
math in different, interesting jobs (Sophie, film maker, Sebastian
Thrun, inventor of self-driving cars etc) will show the importance of
conceptual math.

7. Appreciating Algebra.

Participants will be asked to engage in problems illustrating the
beautiful simplicity of a subject with which they may have had
terrible experiences.

8. Going From This Course to a New Mathematical Future.

This session will review where you are, what you can do and the
strategies you can use to be really successful.


Who is this course for?

This course is for teachers of math (K-12) or for other helpers of
students, such as parents. After the summer I will release a student
version of this course. This course provides an opportunity for
teachers and parents to preview the ideas for students and think
about how they may be useful, as well as learn from new research
ideas and share ideas with other teachers and parents who enroll in
the course.

What is the course structure?

The course will consist of eight short sessions, your watching
/listening time will be 10-15 minutes per session. In those sessions
I will combine some videos of me, interviews with students, cutting
edge research ideas, interesting visuals, and some peer and
self-assessments. The course will also include interviews with some
of the world's leading thinkers, such as Sebastian Thrun
(Udacity/Google) and Carol Dweck (expert on mindset). If you engage
with the materials actively, thinking and writing about teaching and
learning, I anticipate that each session will take you somewhere
between 1 and 2 hours.

What is the pace of the course?

The course will launch on July 15th, a good pace may be to take 2
sessions per week, but you can choose your own pace. The course will
close on September 27th, 2013.

How will I be assessed?

Those who finish the course will receive a statement of
accomplishment. During the course there will be no grades given.
Occasionally you will be asked to complete a self or peer assessment.
These are intended to help your learning, not to grade you.

Can I collaborate with other teachers/ parents?

It will be ideal if you can take this course with others, and discuss
the ideas together. There will also be opportunities to engage in
discussions through the forum pages, and to share good ideas for

Do I need to buy a textbook?

You do not need to buy a textbook. My book "What's Math Got To Do
With It?" Penguin, 2009 (for the USA) or "The Elephant in the
Classroom" Souvenir Press, 2010 (for the UK) will allow you to go
into greater depth on some of the ideas.

Sign up for the class at:


Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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