Teachers as Designers Mindset and Multidimensional Maths in Classrooms From NCTM by Jo Boaler

30 04 2015

Jo started her presentation claiming that we were in the midst of a revolution – a brain and mindset revolution where everyone can achieve the highest levels – we just need to eradicate the idea that only some can achieve.

She spoke at length about brain plasticity where the brain grows by challenges and firing synapses. A synapse fires when we make a mistake and we don’t even have to know that we’ve made a mistake, for this to occur. She cited the phenomenal amount of information that London cabbies learn and how this enlarges their brain. 

She advised teachers to encuorage mistakes amongst their students and to continuously discuss the learning occurring with mistakes.

Jo also discussed that early onset on Maths Anxiety is often associated with timed tests. She strongly advised against times tests. Mathematicians think slowly and deeply about Maths so we should not rush the classroom situation.

She gave numerous problems and the various ways different students solved them. This highlighted the importance of taking the time to explain the processes of problem solving and the value of appreciating all the various methods different students use.

Many of he examples are detailed on the youcubed website and also in her latest book “What’s Math Got to do With It?”

Despite having read Jo’s books and press releases for years I am still challenged to gear change my pedagogy to better achieve the Maths engagement I so earnestly aim for.




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