Q.E.D.: Some of the blogs that I can’t stop reading
Not even six months ago, the brilliant minds of Junaid Mubeen and Sunil Singh created the Medium publication Q.E.D. In this short amount of time, over 1,250 educators have followed yielding over 25,000 views per month. It is evident that the math education community enjoys the work of the over fifteen active bloggers. Before revealing some of my favorite blogs, I believe that it is worthwhile to examine the description of the collection of works.
Within the STEM field, students authentically enjoy learning science, technology and engineering. It is exciting and engaging and teachers do well do promote their subject area. And then there is the ugly step-sister called mathematics. The way that it has been taught and learned need to be reexamined or better yet, reimagined. The blogs that make up this publication are tearing down established ideas of mathematics education. Junaid introduced the publication in his welcome blog and articulates the purpose very well.
In no particular order, here are some blogs that are not “afraid to challenge the status quo and inspire our community with visions of what mathematics education can become.” Included is a link to the blog with short synopsis and my favorite line from the blog. If you have not read these yet, please do so and then share them with your colleagues and friends.
You weren’t bad at maths — you just weren’t looking at it the right way by Junaid Mubeen. A brilliant analysis of the multiplication grid and how it could and should be viewed in different ways. This leads to the importance of mental representations and understanding mathematics. Favorite line: “The stronger and more numerous our representations, the more we can draw on them to connect ideas, develop intuitions and solve problems.”
Stop Selling Math For Its Usefulness by Sunil Singh. A beautiful call to action to stop the real-world application aspect mathematics. We must look at math for its beauty and not commercial applications. Favorite line: “Gauss must be spinning in his grave seeing math prostituting itself as an overreaching and overzealous supporting actor in the comedy of the math classroom.”
Just teach my kid the <adjective> math by James Tanton. The most eloquent response for why we teach mathematics for understanding. The many misconceptions of the “Common Core” methods are addressed once and for all. Favorite line: “It seems that previous generations were seduced to equate familiarity with understanding.”
Grades are for Onions, Beef, and Other Produce; Not Children by Chris Brownell. The title alone makes it worth reading. We know so much about the antiquated grading system but are slow to make changes. We need to think about why we give grades to begin with and if they are serving its purpose. Favorite Line: “Grading is an anachronistic hold-over from the Scientific Management era inserted into schooling during the 19th century.”
The Era of Resource Abundance and What We Can Do About It by Hilary Kreisberg. The blog that I wish I wrote as I have felt the same way as Hilary on the quantity and quality of resources on the internet. We need a systematic process for incorporating all of these resources. Favorite line: “Without a solid understanding, teachers may accidentally use these resources without thought toward where they fit within the way people learn mathematics.”
This is just the beginning. As Q.E.D. grows each month, the content and ideas will also expand. If it tickles your fancy, please join the uprising by writing a blog detailing how you imagine learning math could and should be.