Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thinkin' 'Bout a Revolution, Whoa O

Kate said:
My hope is that what we are witnessing here is a paradigm shift. At the intersection of problem-based lessons, digital projectors, blogging, and frustration with poor-quality textbooks, is blossoming a new way of bringing mathematical understanding to our kids. We don't need to buy anything new, or anyone's permission...just the structure, and the willingness to be observant and curious, and the humbleness to imagine that there might be a better way. I think this is just the beginning. I think this is going to spread like a fire.
Coleen wrote a great reply at Structure of Mathematical Revolutions*, and described 3 stages we've entered: transparency, collaboration and organization, along with a possible evangelism stage, in which we'd be convincing other math teachers how great this all is.

Dan added his thoughts here, comparing Kate to Obama, and after that I couldn't help joining the party.

I hope someone will write a chapter describing this phenomenon for the anthology I'm putting together. The anthology is mostly about learning math outside the classroom, but I think it's vital to find ways to bring the great ideas provided by math circles, centers, festivals, home schoolers, etc, back to the classroom, where most kids are learning math.


  1. "We don't need to buy anything new, or anyone's permission."

    there's the bit that grabs me.
    "simplify, simplify" sez thoreau
    (i'd've said simply "simplify!"...).
    this is exciting stuff to be sure.

  2. Sue, do you have a post or website that describes your anthology? I'd be interested in helping to write the chapter on the WCYDWT phenomenon. At the very least, I'm available for editing.

  3. Hi Colleen, It was in March. Hmm, I don't know how to make my links pretty when I'm adding a comment. But there's a list of all my posts on the right. The call for submissions is there.

    Would you like more than that? I can email you a book proposal that goes into a little more depth. Write me at mathanthologyeditor at gmail.

  4. Thanks, Sue. I found the post. This looks very exciting. I'm not sure yet what I should contribute. I run a math learning center that students attend on a voluntary basis. I also have web-based work. I publish and Do you have a preference?

  5. Hi Colleen, Every time I read old posts on your site, I get more excited. I was both distressed and intrigued to read how your student population changed. Please email me, so we can talk in more depth about what you might want to submit. Thanks!


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