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Mathematician’s Lament Chat

June 10, 2011

Everyone knows that something is wrong. The politicians say, “we need higher standards.” The schools say, “we need more money and equipment.” Educators say one thing, and teachers say another. They are all wrong. The only people who understand what is going on are the ones most often blamed and least often heard: the students. They say, “math class is stupid and boring,” and they are right. (p. 2-3)

The quote above provides a sample of one of the discussion points raised on June 9, 2011 when thirty-seven educators from British Columbia, Alberta, Massachusetts and England joined in on a conversation focusing on Paul Lockhart’s paper, A Mathematician’s Lament. The conversation was held using Elluminate Live allowing for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) and viewing of some quotes which David Wees and I felt were good points of discussion.

The session was recorded for others to view who were not able to attend the live event. Within the recording you will find:

  • thoughts of educators on the current state of mathematics education
  • thoughts from educators on how to improve mathematics education
  • a rich dialogue on mathematics education
  • links to websites with rich problems
  • ideas on how to continue the conversation

At the end of the session there was discussion of continuing the conversation. If you have any comments about the recording, ideas on how to continue the conversation, or would just like to note your interest please feel free to comment below.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2011 8:17 am

    Thank you very much for hosting the event. It was a stimulating conversation, and the format you prepared worked really well. I would like to note my interest in continuing discussions.

  2. June 10, 2011 12:42 pm

    Thank you for hosting and promoting this event. I’m not in one of the countries of the audience, but I still was able to participate!

    Nice work!

    • June 10, 2011 6:48 pm

      No problem. My thanks go to David Wees and Maria Drouvijkova who helped so much. I really enjoyed listening and was fighting to not say to much and focus more on what others had to say.

  3. June 11, 2011 2:22 am

    It was fabulous.

    Although, you know, Richard, there was at least one person from Texas there.

    But I was born in Alberta, so I’m gonna let that slide.


  4. June 20, 2011 4:00 pm

    Thank you for hosting and presenting such a great chat. The format and concept were great. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot. David and you did a terrific job.

    I saved the chat (reorganized into threads) if anyone is interested.

    I understand David started a Google Group to continue the conversation and plan others. Do you know the URL for this group?

    Looking forward to more,

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