Major Issues in Math Education - FIMC-VI

Mathematics is 50% formulas, 50%
proofs, and 50% imagination!
Major Issues in Mathematics Education
Presented by
Derrick W. Smith, Ed.D., COMS®
Draw a Mathematician
Draw a Math Teacher
Fact or Fiction?
Men are better at
mathematics than women.
Math requires logic, not
You must always know how
you got your answer.
Math is not creative.
There is a best way to do a
math problem.
It's always important to get
the answer exactly right.
It's bad to count on your
8. Mathematicians do problems
quickly, in their heads.
9. Math requires a good
10. Math is done by working
intensely until the problem is
11. Some people have a "math
mind" and others don't.
12. There is a magic key to doing
Math Education
• Math educators are "different".
– Different personalities
– Different backgrounds
– Unique content
– Specific pedagogy
– Different lesson plan structuring
– Multiple standards
– Single professional organization
– Multiplicity of stressors
Students LOATE mathematics! Why?
Large class sizes
TIMSS and NAEP studies
Push for application-based mathematics
Push for inquiry-based learning (NSF)
Push of use of technology
And they HAVE to teach "our" kids...
IDEA mandate
Highly qualified teacher
Most special educators are not considered
highly qualified in the math content area.
• Do Educators Feel Adequately Prepared to
Teach STEM subjects to Students with VI?
• How do STEM teachers REALLY feel about
students with disabilities?
• How do STEM teachers REALLY feel about
students with VI?
Example of How Math Teachers React
to Our Students
• Answer these questions:
– What attitudes are demonstrated by the math
teacher towards students with VI?
– How did the TVI “handle” the situation?
– How could the TVI have made the situation
Math Education Research
1. The extent of the students’ opportunity to learn math content
bears direction and decisively on student math achievement.
2. Focusing instruction on the meaningful development of
important mathematical ideas increases the level of student
3. Students can learn both concepts and skills by solving
4. Giving students both an opportunity to discover and invent new
knowledge and an opportunity to practice what they have
learned improves student achievement.
5. Teaching that incorporates students’ intuitive methods can
increase student learning, especially when combined with
opportunities for students interaction and discussion.
Math Education Research, cont.
Using small groups of students to work on activities, problems,
and assignments can increase student math achievement.
7. Whole-class discussion following individual and group work
improves student achievement.
8. Teaching math with a focus on number sense encourages
students to become problem solvers in a wide variety of
situations and to view math as a discipline in which thinking is
9. Long-term use of concrete materials is positively related to
increases in student math achievement and improved attitudes
towards math.
10. Using calculators in the learning of math can result in increased
achievement and improved student attitudes.