My O’Reilly Webcast: 2009 October 1

Title: How To Save Math Education
Subtitle: (And A Tiny Piece Of The World Along With It)
Time: 10h00 PST
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: Free

It’s an overwrought title, sure, but it’s hard for me to overestimate the damage I did in my first five years teaching. I thought I was building up intellectually adventurous learners who would be patient with problems that didn’t resolve neatly or conform quickly to any of the example problems I’d already coached them through when, point of fact, I was doing the opposite. I don’t have any illusion that five hours of sturdy, problem-based math education each week will counteract the intellectual Novocaine our students consume throughout the other 163, but we can at least do no harm.

The timing of this session is unfortunate as it’s squarely in the middle of the North American school day. It would be nice to see some familiar names on the participant list, though, so if you’re able to attend, please register.

Update: I have embedded the presentation below.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Is there any hope that this will be recorded and uploaded afterwards? If not, I would seriously consider asking for a half-day sub to watch this. If not, then I will just get the notes afterwards.

  2. Anonymously for this...

    September 29, 2009 - 1:34 pm -

    As someone about 15 days (but who’s counting?!) into a last minute, surprise! job as a middle school math teacher in an urban public school, I’d sure like to hear this.

    Instead I’ll be ushering my 7th graders out of their lunch detention (the whole class! for a week or more!) and into math class. Oh, the joy and rapture of that after lunch, after detention, end of the day 90 minutes.

    I’m pretty sure I’d need you to dial this way back, though. I feel like all the things I know about engagement and planning are on the other side of the canyon of the “low” class, why are we here, my job is to do as little as possible, if you let us work independently, we’ll never return to you that’s going on now. I keep reminding myself that it’s really only about 3-7 (on a bad day like today) kids that are really like this, that there are kids doing the work, thinking and getting excited. But that sure is hard to remember on the bad days like today.

  3. I second CalcDave…I’d like to know if it’s going to be available later, before I have to start arranging subs, etc.