Media that inspire

On this page, I continually add links to books, articles, websites, and other forms of media that I have found inspiring in my mathematics education career and learning journey.  I hope that they may inspire you as well.


Mathematical Mindsets. By Jo Boaler. (2016). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. If I were only able to suggest one book for all mathematics educators and parents to read, this would be it. In a very reader-friendly, practical way, Jo Boaler, well respected mathematics educator at Stanford, lays out a highly evidence-based rationale for why we must change the culture around mathematics learning and teaching in the United States — and how we can accomplish this together. No longer should only a small portion of our population believe that they “can” do mathematics. The future of ALL of our students hangs in the balance. 

Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2014). Reston, VA: NCTM.  
This is one of the best books I have ever read related to creating real opportunities for deeper learning in every mathematics classroom, for every student.  It is a very teacher-friendly book, but it is also written to be understandable to parents and community members who want to know more about why teaching and learning look different in mathematics than they did 20 or more years ago.  This is a must read for all mathematics teachers!  (Note: the link I have provided is to the PDF e-book; there is also a paperback version which is linked from the same webpage near the bottom.) 

What’s Math Got To Do With It?  By Jo Boaler. (2008). New York: Penguin.
See my blog entry for my comments about this book.

Faster Isn’t Smarter: Messages about Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century. By Cathy L. Seeley. (2009). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions.
I am proud to own an autographed copy of this book, which includes 41 messages, each just several pages, about mathematics education.  The author is a past president of NCTM and a truly amazing person and educator.  She has worked internationally and across the United States to support the advancement of quality mathematics teaching and curriculum development.  

Here’s Looking at Euclid. By Alex Bellos. (2010). New York: Free Press.
This is a wonderfully interesting book that highlights applications and historical elements of mathematics that are part of our world.  It is an easy read, even if the mathematics is not entirely familiar.  The author relates examples of how mathematical ideas have developed over time and how they influence many aspects of our society today.


The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone’s Business. By Dennis Littky with Samantha Grabelle. (2004). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
In this short but powerful book, Dennis Littky describes a way of rethinking the American high school in order to meet the current and future needs and interests of our nation’s children — whatever their backgrounds.  He shares success stories of students who have graduated from his school and forces the reader to consider how preparation for adult life could be different — and perhaps better — for many more of our young Americans.  I became familiar with Dennis Littky by reading a story of an earlier part of his career in the equally inspiring book Doc: The Story of Dennis Littky and His Fight For a Better School. (2005, originally published 1989) By Susan Kameraad-Campbell. 
Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

The Art of Changing the Brain. By James E. Zull. (2002). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.  I facilitated a book group with this book several years ago, with teachers of all grade levels and content areas, and we agreed that it was an outstanding, reader-friendly book for anyone interested in how we can use what we know about the brain to support deep, genuine learning.  The author is a professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University and came to speak to our book group during our last session  a nice local connection for those in Northeast Ohio.

Horaces Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School. By Theodore R. Sizer. (2004, originally published 1984) New York: Mariner Books.
If we ever needed to be persuaded that the typical American high school experience could be better designed to truly motivate and engage students as learners, this book provides that argument.  Sizer studied students and teachers in several schools before writing this narrative about how disengaged many students can be, even when the y are highly successful 
academically.  What compromise do many schools make with their students?


"Common Core Math is Not Fuzzy. By Solomon Friedberg. USA Today, September 15, 2014.  Dr. Friedberg is the chair of the mathematics department at Boston College.  In this op-ed column, he lays out a specific argument regarding why the Common Core standards are a smart move for schools.  His thoughts are highly worth reading.

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? By Elizabeth Green. New York Times Magazine, July 23, 2014.
See my blog entry for my comments about this article.

© Summit Mathematics Education Enterprises, LLC 2014