Friday, March 27, 2009

Call for Submissions: Anthology on Learning Math Outside the Classroom

Do you…
… run a math center, math club, math circle, or other math program which people attend by choice, and at which something other than tutoring and/or homework help is provided?
… homeschool, and have exciting ideas about how kids learn math?
… do new sorts of work helping people learn math through the web?
… have ideas about how to integrate these experiences into public school classrooms, or public policy perspectives?

If you do, perhaps you’d like to add a chapter to Joyful Math: Learning Outside the Classroom, and In.

Why this anthology is needed:
Math is seldom taught well in American schools, and most people end up quite uncomfortable with it. Throughout the history of public education in this country math has troubled most students. Is it different in other countries? Can it be different here?

A number of ground-breaking projects have sprung up over the last decade, with this common thread – most are happening outside the traditional classroom setting. This anthology will include exciting reports from the frontlines of what its editor thinks of as the “joyful math movement”, and will help parents, teachers, and math enthusiasts everywhere think more clearly about how to help students learn math.

We already have an exciting core group of authors, including Julie Brennan (host of Living Math Forum and, Maria Droujkova (, Amanda Serenevy (, and the published authors Robert and Ellen Kaplan (Out of the Labyrinth: Setting Mathematics Free). Now we need to find more voices. Please send this call for submissions along to all lists, groups, blogs, wikis, sites, etc, where people doing projects like these might see it.

How to join in the fun:
If you have something to add to this anthology, we’d like to hear from you. Please give enough detail to make your unique perspective clear, and write your proposal in the same style you’d use in a chapter you’d submit later. Or simply send a first draft of your proposed chapter. Send proposals, questions, and requests for more information to Sue VanHattum at mathanthologyeditor at Deadline for proposals: May 30, 2009. Tentatively accepted contributors will be notified by June 30; chapters will be due by September 30, 2009.

Some questions for contributors:
• Describe your project. Tell stories from daily experiences. Also tell what you’ve learned from this experience. Have you had ‘aha!’ moments?
• What hurdles have you overcome in this project? How has your vision for what you’re doing changed over time?
• In an ideal world, how could public schools use your ideas/practices?


  1. It's great to have this link to maths outside the classroom.

    Me? I'm fully immersed in "the system" and do what I can to set kids free by working to increase their awareness of the "school game" and to provide as much hands on, interesting, "test free" mathematics as I can.

    My passion is to help kids get their learning headpsace outside the four walls of a classroom and free of the tether to the "expert at the front".

    Its a hard row to hoe and its good to know that there are like minded folk working on the outside. I'll follow your bog with interest.

  2. Thanks for your comment. You're my first visitor, if you don't count the friends I invited over. How'd you find me?

    (I just posted a comment on your blog.)

  3. FAQ (to be revised as more questions are frequently asked) ;>

    Q#1. What length do you want?

    A#1. First, what matters most is the depth. I’d like each chapter to say something important, be clear and concise, and use good details from the author’s experience.

    Second, I believe fiction anthologies use length limits to keep the pacing smooth. And magazines have a particular number of pages to fill. We can be more flexible. I don’t expect the chapters in this nonfiction anthology to be similar to each other in length or style. The concepts and values we share will pull it all together.

    I hope to include a few already published pieces. One is 1,000 words and another is 10,000 words. I expect most submissions will be between those two in length. If you have one point to make, try for the short end of the spectrum. If you’re describing more than one issue, perhaps you’ll need to write a longer piece, or write two chapters.

    I hope this helps, but feel free to show me a rough draft and I can make length suggestions then.

  4. Q#2. What sorts of math?

    A#2. This is not a book that does math, rather it explores projects in which people are learning math in exciting new ways. Of course there will inevitably be bits and pieces of math in the book, as part of people’s explanations of what they do, and there will be a rich annotated bibliography that describes many good books that focus on the math itself.

  5. I got lots of folks interested when I attended the Great Circles conference at MSRI, and I hope to get a few more at the conference I'm attending there today and tomorrow.

    The anthology now has plenty of good authors, so I'm mainly looking to fill particular holes.

    10 more days until the semester is over, and I get to start doing some serious research. And I got my sabbatical, so this will be my main work for the next year. Yeeha!


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