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on 17 August 2008
Have you ever wondered what the big issues are in Maths teaching, but whenever you try to find out you are put off by overly wordy, academic flannel? Then this is the book for you - it is written to be read and understood by all! OK - it is for an American audience, and some of the problems and issues relating to Maths teaching in the US are not directly relevant to us in the UK, BUT Jo Boaler explains some of the issues and explores some of the questions surrounding Maths Teaching which are relevant across the 21st century world, and gives some practical advice about how to help children and young adults to love Maths. It has given me lots to think about!
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on 5 July 2013
Everybody knows that maths teaching works best when pupils are in groups of roughly equal ability, when the teacher demonstrates a technique for the children to master by practice, when the classroom is silent and allows them to concentrate individually, ....

And every one of these statements is catastrophically wrong!

Jo Boaler has done more than most to prove it. She worked with teachers and pupils in two similar schools. One taught along the lines of my first sentence and the other put children into co-operative groups of varying abilities and gave them problems to solve so that mathematical techniques emerged because they were needed rather than being the starting focus. It was children at the second school who did better, and were better fitted to embark upon adult life - in a follow-up study ten years later these young adults were in better jobs with better prospects than those of similar background from school 1.

In fact she replicated the research in the USA, with similar results.

However, this is a book for the general reader and not just the maths teacher. It's easy enough to read in a couple of sessions and for most people the most valuable section will be final part of the book where Jo Boaler discusses how to help your own children develop a positive approach through games and puzzles. Her name may be new to you, but she knows more about mathematics learning than a whole roomful of politicians and newspaper writers.
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on 6 October 2014
great present
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