Jo Boaler, Stanford University Professor, Advocating for Change in U.S. Math Classrooms

boalerHow math is taught in the United States is a hot topic right now.  One well-respected researcher and educator speaking out on this topic is Stanford University, Professor of Mathematics, Jo Boaler. Several PUSD math teachers and administrators heard Dr. Boaler speak at the Northern California Math Council Conference in December and were inspired by her message: All students can learn higher mathematics.

Jo Boaler’s new and improved website was launched today and can be found by going to  There you will find videos, research articles, and engaging math tasks. If you haven’t viewed Jo’s video on the importance of shifting math classrooms from a focus on performance to a focus on math learning (and how Common Core is helping to make this happen), I highly recommend it.

A film documentary titled The American Math Crisis, which highlights the work of Dr. Jo Boaler and civil rights leaders, Dr. Robert Moses is being made.  Here is a short description from youcubed: “…the film examines how our traditional approach to math education favors rote performance over problem-solving and imitation over creativity–even among high-achieving students. Exposing the ways in which resistance from policymakers and parents has prevented better practices from reaching our classrooms, film interweaves the stories of struggling students with those of groundbreaking educators. And it reveals a new reality: a classroom where every student is good at math. Click here to preview a clip from the documentary.

Parents and teachers: Dr. Boaler will be speaking at St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in San Francisco on January 29 from 5:00-8:30 PM.  The title of her presentation is Eradicating Low Achievement in Mathematics Classrooms: Research Evidence on what works and what doesn’t for students with learning difficulties.  Click here to register for this event.

Teachers: I highly suggest you read Jo’s article: “Unlocking Children’s Math Potential: 5 Research Results to Transform Math Learning.”  If you are interested in reading Dr. Boaler’s new book, What’s Math Got To Do With It: How Teachers and Parents Can Transform Mathematics Learning and Inspire Success, to be released March 31, 2015, contact Cheryl Wozniak, Director of Curriculum to pre-order a copy.

Finally, Dr. Boaler has mentioned in a few of her sessions that there is an online summer course, How To Learn Math, designed for students, and teachers are encouraged to take it as well. Here is a link to the course.  If you are a Piedmont Unified staff member and are interested in taking this course, please contact Cheryl Wozniak.

Happy math learning to all!



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