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What's Math Got to Do with It?: How Teachers and Parents Can Transform Mathematics Learning and Inspire Success Paperback – 31 Mar 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised ed. edition (31 Mar. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143128299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143128298
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"For any parent who's ever heard a child declare, 'I hate math.'"
-Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook
" Parents and educators alike will count this book an inspiring resource."
-Publishers Weekly
" Highly accessible and enjoyable for readers who love and loathe math."
-Booklist

About the Author

DR. JO BOALER is a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University. The author of sevenbooks and numerous research articles, she serves as an advisor to several Silicon Valley companies andis a White House presenter on girls and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). She recentlyformed youcubed.org to give teachers and parents the resources and ideas they need to inspire andexcite students about mathematics."

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
‘What's Math Got to Do with It?’ written by Jo Boaler is at the same time a continuation and an expansion of her six years old work that had the same title, but rather a different subheading – ‘Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject--and Why It's Important for America’.

Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics from UK teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, though she became known because of her part in promotion of mathematics education reform that started some time ago. Not only she wrote several books that speak about mathematics subject, but also she founded a non-profit organization named Youcubed that helps parents and mathematics educators working with younger children.

Boaler drew public attention precisely with the aforementioned first edition of ‘What's Math Got to Do with It?’ book back in 2009 with which she tried to take off the stigma from mathematics as the least favorite or rather said, the most hated school subject. The critics were somehow divided, on the one hand her work well-promoted and encouraged the problem solving in project-like environment with grouped students that make their work easier and more productive, while on the other hand there were reasonable complaints Boaler offered a lot of criticism, while not providing equal number of solutions and directions to be followed.

So it was interesting to see how much of the original content the author decided to change during the past six years, or whether and to what extent her thinking has changed in recent period.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
‘What's Math Got to Do with It?’ written by Jo Boaler is at the same time a continuation and an expansion of her six years old work that had the same title, but rather a different subheading – ‘Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject--and Why It's Important for America’.

Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics from UK teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, though she became known because of her part in promotion of mathematics education reform that started some time ago. Not only she wrote several books that speak about mathematics subject, but also she founded a non-profit organization named Youcubed that helps parents and mathematics educators working with younger children.

Boaler drew public attention precisely with the aforementioned first edition of ‘What's Math Got to Do with It?’ book back in 2009 with which she tried to take off the stigma from mathematics as the least favorite or rather said, the most hated school subject. The critics were somehow divided, on the one hand her work well-promoted and encouraged the problem solving in project-like environment with grouped students that make their work easier and more productive, while on the other hand there were reasonable complaints Boaler offered a lot of criticism, while not providing equal number of solutions and directions to be followed.

So it was interesting to see how much of the original content the author decided to change during the past six years, or whether and to what extent her thinking has changed in recent period.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Absolutely superb book for parents and teachers alike. I have recommended it to so many people, all of whom have really enjoyed it. It has completely changed the way I think about maths and the conversations I have with my children about it. It is invaluable if you have a child who is struggling with maths, or who has shown themselves to be particularly interested in it. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jo Boaler has produced a book that is easy to read and full of good ideas and wisdom. Anyone interested in maths teaching and student learning should buy and read this book. My only criticism is that the cover looks like it will mark easily and it feels a little bit cheap.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish all principals/school officials had to read this! 29 April 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a math teacher who has abandoned the school system and tutors now. Jo Boaler has all the right ideas on how to excite students and turn them into thinkers instead of test performers who really don't learn anything. Students should love math, problem solving and exploration. Sadly, the school system in the US is not going to change anytime soon, so we parents, grandparents and tutors will have to carry the load for those we can help. This book is great in helping people understand why we want to change the way math is taught and how to start doing that. Also visit Jo's website for more ideas
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it. 10 July 2015
By Dee Dee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the philosophy and perspective of this book. I only wish it would have outlined specific ways to teach in this way because it isn't easy,especially if your district requires you to follow a tightly paced "basal" math program (although her Stanford website is working on this). Jo Boaler writes with passion without talking down to teachers who have never thought or known how to teach a different way. Lots of research quoted. Worth a read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important story, well told, for all teachers and parents. 3 May 2015
By Ross Turner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tells a very important story, in an extremely accessible way, supported by a huge volume of research. A must read for all teachers and parents at least. Have you ever felt you are no good at maths? Or worse, that you want to run a mile whenever you see something maths-like? Professor Boaler explains some of the ways this is caused, and she demonstrates how it can be avoided for those not yet afflicted and how it might be remedied in those who have such fears. In the running for my most important book of the year.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la Revolution 1 May 2016
By David Taitelbaum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read and gives me hope that my children will receive better math teaching than what Americans have historically received. Quick read that helps explain how math teaching in the U.S. can be greatly improved. It seems like Jo Boaler's You Cubed organization is picking up steam and will soon revolutionize math education in our country.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just...WOW. Read this if you have a kid who loves/hates/struggles with/excells at maths..... 10 Jan. 2016
By Just My Opinion.... - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just...WOW.
This book is a must-read for teachers, maths teachers, school principals, administrators...AND PARENTS! Especially if you are a parent who matches ANY of the following:
- Your child has good grades in maths, but is convinced that they are no good at it (ESPECIALLY if that child is a girl),
- Your middle-grader is going to a school where the A students will learn alongside the D students and you are worried about your child's learning (prepare to open your mind on this one),
- Your child isn't doing well at maths at all, and you/they/both of you are worried/convinced that they are not good at maths (it's not true),
- Your child finds maths class to be repetitive and dull and completely boring,
- You love maths but your child finds it boring,
- Your child hates memorizing times tables (or finds this pointless) and finds that the main means of evaluation in their maths class (same for kids who hate the mindless repetition of endless worksheets, drills and silent timed speed tests),
- You are convinced that maths must be more useful / more interesting / more exciting than it is in the classroom.

I am not a maths major and don't choose to read about mathematics in my free time. But I checked this out of the library and suddenly (by the second chapter) was so spellbound, I returned it, bought my own copy and started marking the daylights out of it. It is at once a sad, sobering reminder of how disastrous the traditional mathematics curriculum really is, and a concrete introduction to practical ways to stuff that old Victorian model out of the window and expose the vibrant, creative and interesting world that numbers and mathematics really is.

Because ALL kids and adults CAN do maths and do it well...but they have to be allowed to be interested, engaged, encouraged, to struggle with it, have high expectations made of them AND to be allowed to experience it as a way of thinking, not just a test of memory, speed or the ability to mindlessly follow the steps laid out before them.
And if your child currently does extremely well under the traditional system, and you feel threatened by a "different way" that might unseat your child from their high grades....fear not. Almost all children do even better when they engage in the creativity of maths, and they will certainly enjoy it more and actually learn flexible problem-solving that can go int the real world.

As the book explains and as most maths students can tell you, school-taught maths is dry, formula-based worksheet repetition that is geared towards getting "the right answer" over actually knowing WHY formulas, numbers and mathematics actually WORK. Because understanding maths is richer and more useful that just getting the right answer. That's why we have calculators. And it's the difference between rote memorizing and knowledge/education. Before I read this I had not known that mathematicians are apparently absurdly bad at "getting the right numerical answer"...because that isn't as important as actually being able to understand, use and creatively understand the world through numbers and mathematics.

As a super-plus, this book is not dry drudge-reading, despite the number of studies cited and explained. It is an eminently exciting read (even for the numbers-challenged) and gives actual problems to demonstrate the techniques and a means of using the information with your child to expose the hidden joy of mathematics. There are recommendations, resources, and ideas on how to include the joy of learning with numbers with your child. And for teachers, there are tools for engaging event the most unruly, willfully disconnected and jaded students, even if you happen to teach...say....geography.

The only caveat for both parents and those in education is to open your mind, because this is revolutionary as compared to the maths environment that has been in place for over a century of public education. Entertain the idea that maybe we haven't got it right, or if you believe that we have, that just maybe...the world is a different one now than it was more than a century ago, and the ways these kids need to mathematically engage with it is not the same as those who were only beginning to accept that man might actually build a flying machine that could work.
To say that a Victorian approach to maths lessons actually addresses the needs of tomorrow's creative thinkers is ludicrous, to say the least. It all makes so much sense....

UPDATE: Bought second copy for the principal of a local school. Wish all principals would be receptive of this, but even one can change the world of the students they are responsible for! (Note that I could not bring myself to relinquish my OWN copy!)
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