The conversation seems to revolve around the educator's learning stance. If the educator takes on the stance of learner, alongside the students, then my kids are much happier.
"Teachers don't know everything and they haven't run across all of the different types of learners. They never will." This is a powerful statement from a student.
Cathy Fosnot and Stephen Hurley start a great conversation, not just about ensuring that students have equitable access to math learning, but they also propose that it's not enough to just engage kids in having fun with math, but that we are compelled to help them to recognize themselves as mathematicians and powerful thinkers.
Cathy has many key ideas in this podcast, with a particular focus on what mathematicians do, and how mathematizing isn't just a process, but it's also content. She says that mathematicians are constructing meaning within the medium of mathematics. They are mathematizing the world around them, using mathematical models and mathematical lenses. This is how they construct mathematics and see relationships between ideas, proving conjectures. This is the process of building meaning.
Let's think about supporting the unfolding of mathematical ideas in the classroom, rather than transmitting our ideas to others. This stance really underlines the importance of educators engaging in the classroom as learners and observers, rather than just assuming they know how all of their students will see mathematical ideas.
If you haven't had the opportunity to listen in to Cathy Fosnot facilitating discussion about the first chapter of her book Young Mathematicians at Work, Constructing Multiplication and Division, click on the button below.