Liberation Math: Week 2

This week’s in Liberation Math, we’ll be analyzing memories using a method known as memory-work, which you can read more about in last week’s readings. In the in-person class, we’ll be doing memory work, as well as debriefing the first week and figuring out what may need to be changed about the course.


Mathematics (Photo credit: Terriko)

The readings for this week are:

  • Memories from participants. This is an interesting collection of memories of mathematics and highly recommended reading. Would love any comments what strikes you in these, especially commonalities, anything that seems to be missing or contradictory, and how authors’ construct themselves and others in these memories. We’ll be posting about memory work process later in week
  • TED video from Dan Meyer on Math Education. This is a great video for thinking about what we are doing and what we might want to do with mathematics education. What resonates with you? What rubs you the wrong way.
  • Chapter 1 of Sheila Tobias, Overcoming Math Anxiety. This is a great book by Tobias, who was a pioneer in looking at math anxiety

Which of these readings “land” for you and reflect something that you see in education, something that you want in education, or something that you definitely don’t want in education? Do they point to one strategy for teaching and learning math, or do they suggest different routes and even different destinations? What is your take?


3 thoughts on “Liberation Math: Week 2

  1. Carolyn Edsell-Vetter says:

    Amazing memories! Themes: 10 of the 13 were negative, at least in the end result. Several featured supportive peers or at least a “they’re not getting this, either” camaraderie. Success was exhilarating, while perceived failures were humiliating, and the humiliation often took a public form. Lots of emotion, including very physical responses – clammy hands, racing hearts, tears and blushing. Several references to math as a foreign language.

    The TED talk was a great antidote to these experiences: “What really matters?” For me, I’ve only gotten my love of math back as an adult when I do have to figure out these sorts of undefined problems: How much water conditioner do I need to add to this new pond so that I don’t kill the fish?

    • Angela Vierling-Claassen says:

      Carolyn — I’ve read lots of these kind of memories, and I’m always amazed at how much commonality there is between people’s experiences. Even my experiences as a crazy person with a PhD in math look to me the same as experiences of people who have struggled with math from grade school.

      And I love the idea of getting re-aquainted with math as an adult, once you have a bit more power to do what you want, and a reason to be interested in real life situations that might involve math.

      Thanks for the comment!!

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