What a wonderful and full week we have had with great math talk! Here’s how the book ends…
Epilogue: Conclusion and Action Steps for Educators and Parents.
Both Educators and Parents needs to be on board to support more rigorous common math standards for all students and implement effective instructional strategies, as outlined in chapter 4. It might be one or both of the follow that is standing in our way from progressing.
Disagreement on Mathematics Learning Goals
So, should we focus on facts, skills, and procedures, or concepts and understanding? How should students learn–teacher directed with memorization, or student centered with reasoning and discovery?
Disagreement still exists today on learning styles, however the CCSS for mathematics define a common expectation for student learning in mathematics. The standards are coherent, focused, and have proper sequencing of math topics that promote student learning–both from research and through international comparisons.
There is a clear need to teach math at a deeper level so students understand concepts and are able to transfer those skills to solve problems. High quality standards help students understand the how (procedural skill), the why (conceptual understanding), and when (application) of mathematics.
Cultural Nature of Mathematics Teaching
Teaching is a cultural activity–we learn from the previous generation and often teach how we were taught.
Every adult has some conceived notion of what constitutes effective mathematics instruction looks like. And although there are research-based practices that we are trying to implement, because it doesn’t look identical to what we think is the best method we resist change. The authors compare this to a physician–would you rather them use up-to-date research to treat you or practices used generations ago?
“It is essential that we no longer debate the merits of either the CCSS for mathematics or any other set of coherent, comprehensive, and rigorous standards. Instead, we now have the opportunity to use standards that require a balance of procedural fluency with complex reasoning as a catalyst to raise expectations for student learning and support effective instructional practices in the classroom.”
They then go on to discuss six action steps you can take which include things such as advocating for higher math expectations, using research-informed instructional strategies, and working with students to persevere when a challenging task arises. Expect student to develop both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. Also, be willing to confront individuals who criticize math education based on opinion or half-truths.
We are encouraged as educators and parents to work together to balance the mathematics education equation and make equilibrium in math learning a reality for all students and future generations as well.
Appendix: Additional Resources for Parents
This provides additional resources that you might find useful as you support children’s mathematics learning. They provide a nice description in the book, but I will list a few of the links below…
The book is full of other links, but you really should buy the book for yourself because it is a great read, and as you have seen if you check through the links during this past week’s blog hop, there are so many insights into how we can change mathematics teaching and learning for the better.
The remaining few last pages of the book has all the sited references and resources as well as a handy index if you are searching for a particular topic.
This has been an honor and a pleasure to read and do this blog hop with great math bloggers with the book Balancing the Equation. It is a call to action and a great resource for us to share with teacher friends and fellow parents as we strive to make everyone understand the importance of mathematics curriculum having an equilibrium. May we all work to advocate for our students learning the how, when, and why behind mathematics!
If you need to go back and reference any part of our hop, here is the schedule with links…
Tell us what you have thought about this book study! Thank you!