[Photo by City of Boston Archives via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).]
I’ve started collecting quotes about teaching math for the chapter pages in my next Math You Can Play book. Here are a couple snippets that don’t fit the theme of “Multiplication & Fractions,” but they struck my fancy anyway:
If teachers would only encourage guessing. I remember so many of my math teachers telling me that if you guess, it shows that you don’t know. But in fact there is no way to really proceed in mathematics without guessing. You have to guess! You have to have intuitive judgment as to the way it might go. But then you must be willing to check your guess. You have to know that simply thinking it may be right doesn’t make it right.
[Photo by Nathan Russell via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).]
One of the big misapprehensions about mathematics that we perpetrate in our classrooms is that the teacher always seems to know the answer to any problem that is discussed. This gives students the idea that there is a book somewhere with all the right answers to all of the interesting questions, and that teachers know those answers. And if one could get hold of the book, one would have everything settled. That’s so unlike the true nature of mathematics.
— Leon Henkin
from “Round and Round at the Round Table”
Teaching Teachers, Teaching Students: Reflections on Mathematical Education
What Are Your Favorite Quotes?
Do you have some favorite quotes on math and teaching? I’d love to hear them! Please share in the Comments section below.