Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
20

Most of the research on gender and math education is focused on student gender differences. However, a few references can be found that focus on the what differences there may be based on the gender of the teacher. One thing that appears to be common among some of these studies appears to be that perception of student performance varies based on gender of ...


16

In searching for information about hours of work per week by teachers at the secondary vs. tertiary level (for an earlier question) I came across a nice report by Scholastic and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A summary-type page can be found here; the full report (pdf) can be found here. (From the same study) A nice summary of "teachers on teaching" ...


16

Based on my experience in the US, most school districts teachers teach all subjects including mathematics in the elementary schools. There typically aren't "mathematics teachers" at this level although there are some school districts that have designated mathematics teachers. You should probably not assume anything beyond basic arithmetic- they might ...


16

The method is mathematically incorrect, but whether it is wrong or not, depends on whether people know what they're doing or not. The possible division by zero is a mistake, yes. But it is a mistake one can ignore if in the end you get a solution to the differential equation. To make it full proof, what I do is the following sequence of steps. Possibly ...


14

Supporting the answer by Brian Borchers, and also the comment by aparante001: K-6 elementary teachers in the U.S. will know effectively zero math, or even a negative amount of math in many cases. It's well established that for over a century in the U.S., the very weakest college students, and in particular the ones with the highest level of math anxiety, ...


12

A study I have read indicates that female teachers' math anxiety (negatively) affects girls' math achievement at the elementary level, which would run counter to your claim that women are "better" for math teachers at the elementary level. (However, as a woman myself, this to me means that we need to do better at countering math anxiety in our female ...


12

Despite what the negative answers, there are elementary teachers who are good at math. I count myself among them. The problem is that there are a broad range of abilities and attitudes among those who will you be talking to. My suggestion is that you look for cool things about math that don't require a knowledge of higher math. One example might be my ...


12

Such an implication as you suggest seems highly far fetched. Firstly, there is a chicken and egg problem here. Suppose that research showed those who study mathematics end up far more likely to have strong characters and be expert at day-to-day problems. How would you tell, without advanced brain imagery techniques, that it is not the predisposition to ...


11

At the moment, I can answer bullet point two: Are there any high school textbooks that explicitly acknowledge that the methods included in the text are not adequate to solve all 3rd and 4th degree polynomial equations, and that in higher degrees that are no general methods at all? Yes, you can find this on p. 267 of CME Project's (2009) Algebra 2 text. ...


10

Since one point was not made very forcefully in the other answers: I like teaching mathematics because, even on the worst days, I get to talk/think/engage about mathematics... which I somehow find endlessly entertaining.


9

What I find gratifying about teaching, math specifically, is learning from my students. I cannot count how many times I have had students come to me and ask me to check their work because they were not sure they were doing it correctly, and they end up teaching me a method of solving the problems that I have never thought of before. I love showing students ...


8

Here are the requirements for Teacher Certification in Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Teaching and Certification Resource Become a Teacher in Massachusetts An image pasted from the latter link: The examination in Massachusetts is called the MTEL. To prepare for it sufficiently (especially in teaching "elementary" as opposed to "early elementary") I can ...


8

The MAA has a document (for undergraduate institutions) titled "Guidelines for Programs and Departments in Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences" and addresses some of this in Section C: "Program Faculty and Staffing". See http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/curriculum-department-guidelines-recommendations/guidelines-for-undergrad-programs#c


8

First off, I would like to commend your desire to teach at a high school level. It is a very challenging and tiring profession but it is so rewarding and IMHO is one of the most useful settings that one can teach in (aside from maybe elementary school but that is a whole different ball game :) It sounds like you already understand one of the most basic ...


7

Is the teacher's confirmation bias a serious problem? Yes and this is not specific to math class. Example of Confirmation Bias in Assessment On Monday, the teacher thinks: "If my students have mastered addition and subtraction of of fractions, then they will be able to calculate, say $\frac{2}{5}+\frac{7}{10}=\_\_\_\_\_\_\_$ and $\frac{1}{5}-\frac{2}{11}=\...


7

In terms of researchers who I am personally familiar with: I would recommend work by Orit Zaslavsky. From her NYU-Steinhardt bio: Orit Zaslavsky's research focuses on mathematics teacher education. She has been among the first scholars to study the development of teacher-educators, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Within this broad ...


7

With respect to Benjamin's answer, the top reason in his graphic "to make a difference." I received the note above at the end of the last school year. The first few reasons listed are slight variations of this 'difference' idea. For me, it's a part time job, just 2 days a week, and so far, in 3 years, I've never had a bad day. I've met with students who ...


7

You may be overestimating how much students learn from symbolic rules. Most textbooks already teach symbolic rules first then put word problems last. This is backasswards. Most students succeed at exercises such as: Compute the exact missing value. $\frac{7}{9}\times39=\_\_\_$ But, if you do not show them that prior question and instead begin with this,...


6

For me, the strongest immediate gratification comes when a student suddenly understands something: "Oh, now I get it!" The strongest delayed gratification is when students and former students do well over the years.


6

I agree with the premise, but as Ittay's answer suggests, a study sufficient to prove this would be difficult. The issue of correlation vs causation comes into play with the task of separating them to be difficult. In the end, it's fair to say that young children learn more easily. Things like language that are far more difficult to learn say, in high ...


6

I do not think you can change the opinions of professors who hold these views. All you can do is be a human: interact with undergrads, and let them know that you do not think inherent ability is needed to do good mathematics, that it is mostly about hard work and perseverance, that mathematics needs all kinds of people (great expositors, people writing ...


5

Academic, applied, and research math is the world where you come from. [Edit: Much of] Elementary "math" is a whole different world. If you want to know why quotation marks are literally necessary in the prior sentence, check out the writings of Hung Hsi Wu. Then, prepare for something radically worse than that when you ask students to explain their ...


4

How many times one can ask a given professor a question depends on the professor. There are professors who do not like questions ("this is not a good question"). There are professors who will forget about the rest of the class to attend to a question, however, misguided, spending five minutes answering whatever nonsensical question, boring the rest of the ...


4

This is answer is self evaluation of what I think happened to me. I don't know about building characters to be 'stronger'. (What does 'stronger' or 'better' even mean here? What is the partial order?). But I do think it influences character. I recently graduated from my BSc in mathematics and I can guarantee that I'm much more honest now that I graduated ...


4

Since the other posts here are positive, I'll go ahead and say that it's not, or at least not necessarily, gratifying. You're talking about undergrad-level education, presumably something like calculus, complex analysis, etc. Someone commented above that you can learn more about the subject by teaching it to students; but you presumably have a PhD in ...


4

In part, we stick to it because we like it. We would be doing something else otherwise... and pay is way better elsewhere. Small wonder that the survey turns out as it does. My personal reasons to teach (not math, in general) at the university is that it keeps you in touch with very bright, motivated people (no, I don't believe the old chant of "students ...


4

I think this depends a lot on the type of questions (or rather prompts); If you keep asking the professor "again, please", you shouldn't do it perhaps more than once. Most likely, (s)he will repeat what was just said, but that's useful only if you had problems understanding it due to noise or being distracted. If you could understand the words clearly but ...


3

I would answer it with a story: My aunt whom I stay with is a Math lecturer for last 21 years and she tells me things happening everyday. From all that, what I could collect is this: The starting respect: She says "Compared to any other, the students have a respect for you from the starting day as helloooo- you are eligible enough to teach a subject which ...


2

Is the teacher's confirmation bias a serious problem? It's one of a list of assessment errors. It's specially noteworthy, because it hits the tension field instruction vs. construction. As such, it is a problem, but not much more serious than other errors in this tension field. How could we make the teachers aware of it? You can't help teachers not ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible