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Do You Know The Mathematics You Need to Know?

Routledge has recently released Alan Sultan and Alice Artzt's (ed.) The Mathematics that Every Secondary School Math Teacher Needs to Know (2011). Though a hefty 732 pages, the flavor of this book varies...while the emphasis is on "needs to know" in contrast to "might want to know."

The more I browse this text and focus on certain parts, the more I like it. And, I suggest that all secondary mathematics teachers should have a copy ready...both for review and extension of their understandings.

Some interesting aspects of this text:

  • Launch Questions before each content discussion
  • Student Learning Opportunities...that experienced mathematics teachers can benefit from as well
  • Questions from the Classroom that get at the underlying or deep "why" for concepts
  • It is aligned with the National Common Core Standards
One nice aspect is that the authors do not limit their focus to the bare minimum that a mathematics teacher needs to know to "appear" knowledgeable...but rather explore mathematical extensions that a quality teacher needs to know, going beyond the limitations of the content they teach. Plus, many of the questions asked are both interesting and challenging.

My dictum: Every good mathematics teacher is constantly re-examining and extending what they know about mathematics (and its teaching and learning). This book provides a good structure for these re-examinations, and possibly even for the extensions. In turn, to the authors, "good job...well done."