Summer School for Parents, Teachers: How to Learn Math

Here’s an interesting summer learning opportunity for homeschooling parents and classroom teachers alike. Stanford Online is offering a free summer course from math education professor and author Jo Boaler:

Boaler’s book is not required for the course, but it’s a good read and should be available through most library loan systems.

Registration & Class Schedule

You can register now, and the lessons launch on July 15. Professor Boaler estimates that to fully engage with the course materials will take about 2-4 hours per week, but as with most online courses you can choose your own pace and level of interaction.

Because some participants will want to complete the course before school begins in mid August, the course lessons will be released as follows:

  • On July 15th, classes 1-4 will be available.
  • By July 22nd, classes 5 & 6.
  • And by July 29th classes 7 & 8.

Topics Covered

This course consists of eight short video sessions of about 10-15 minutes each and will include interviews with students, cutting edge research ideas, interesting visuals, and interviews with some of the world’s leading thinkers, such as Sebastian Thrun (Udacity/Google) and Carol Dweck (expert on mindset).

1. Knocking down the myths about math.
Math is not about speed, memorization or learning lots of rules. There is no such thing as “math people” and non-math people. Girls are equally capable of the highest achievement. This session will include interviews with students.

2. Math and Mindset.
Participants will be encouraged to develop a growth mindset, they will see evidence of how mindset changes students’ learning trajectories, and learn how it can be developed.

3. Teaching Math for a Growth Mindset.
This session will give strategies to teachers and parents for helping students develop a growth mindset and will include an interview with Carol Dweck.

4. Mistakes, Challenges & Persistence.
What is math persistence? Why are mistakes so important? How is math linked to creativity? This session will focus on the importance of mistakes, struggles and persistence.

5. Conceptual Learning, Part I: Number Sense.
Math is a conceptual subject– we will see evidence of the importance of conceptual thinking and participants will be given number problems that can be solved in many ways and represented visually.

6. Conceptual Learning, Part II: Connections, Representations, Questions.
In this session we will look at and solve math problems at many different grade levels and see the difference in approaching them procedurally and conceptually. Interviews with successful users of math in different, interesting jobs (film maker, inventor of self-driving cars etc) will show the importance of conceptual math.

7. Appreciating Algebra.
Participants will be asked to engage in problems illustrating the beautiful simplicity of a subject with which they may have had terrible experiences.

8. Going From This Course to a New Mathematical Future.
This session will review where you are, what you can do and the strategies you can use to be really successful.

9 thoughts on “Summer School for Parents, Teachers: How to Learn Math

  1. I am currently reading Jo Boaler’s book that you are featuring, I love it. I just finished Carol Dwecks book. Crazy to see both book featured in the same article. Nice to know I’m on the right track. I also love Grayson Wheatley’s approach to teaching math, the man is brilliant. I am a female highschool math teacher with two young kids. These women inspire me!

  2. I’ve signed up too – looks brilliant, thanks Denise. I downloaded and read the book straight after I first read your post – it’s amazing (and shocking about the state of English maths, I hadn’t realised it had got so bad since I left school).
    I’ve added “number talks” to our “Let’s Play Maths” homeschool routine. I’m hoping my husband will sign up for the course too, the extra sounding-board might be useful!
    Jen – I’m going to look up those other authors you mention, too. I’m a maths sponge at the moment, and loving it! 🙂

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