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Smarter Than We Think: More Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century

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9781935099369



Smarter Than We Think is a must-read for parents, teachers, policy makers, or anyone who cares about the mathematical education of the next generation. Seeley tackles common misconceptions about students, and she challenges teachers and teacher educators to engage students by turning their classrooms "upside-down" and to rethink what "everyone knows" about teaching mathematics. She exhorts policy makers to put mathematics first and uses this as the guiding principle in making choices about technology in the classroom, restructuring curriculum, and high-stakes testing. Finally, in a set of essays on the mathematical practices in the Common Core State Standards, Seeley reminds us that it is not simply mathematical content that we want students to master. Rather, we should also seek to instill in our students the essential habits of mind that are the hallmark of mathematical thinking, arguably the essential skill for thriving in the twenty-first century.

Cathy L. Seeley
424 Pages

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Author Bio


Cathy L. Seeley has given presentations in forty-nine states, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, and South Africa. She has been a mathematics teacher, K–12 district coordinator, and K–12 State Director of Mathematics for Texas. From 1999 to 2001 she taught mathematics (in French) as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso. Dr. Seeley served as President of NCTM from 2004 to 2006 and is the author of Faster Isn't Smarter—Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century. She recently retired as a Senior Fellow at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas, however continues to speak, write, and consult on improving mathematics teaching and learning from elementary school through college at the local, state, and national level.
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Cathy L. Seeley has given presentations in forty-nine states, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, and South Africa. She has been a mathematics teacher, K–12 district coordinator, and K–12 State Director of Mathematics for Texas. From 1999 to 2001 she taught mathematics (in French) as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso. Dr. Seeley served as President of NCTM from 2004 to 2006 and is the author of Faster Isn't Smarter—Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century. She recently retired as a Senior Fellow at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas, however continues to speak, write, and consult on improving mathematics teaching and learning from elementary school through college at the local, state, and national level.

What People Are Saying

"A valuable resource for teachers, administrators, instructional coaches, and college professors. Don’t let the size of this volume frighten you away from this powerful collection of mathematics education messages. Seeley delivers 40 stimulating messages, each containing opportunities for reflection and focused collaboration, generating energy for a positive difference in learning experiences for today’s students." (Read more)
—Cassie Gannett & Christy Pruitt, CCTM Regional Representatives
"Smarter Than We Think is a must-read for parents, teachers, policy makers, or anyone who cares about the mathematical education of the next generation. Seeley tackles common misconceptions about students, and she challenges teachers and teacher educators to engage students by turning their classrooms "upside-down" and to rethink what "everyone knows" about teaching mathematics. She exhorts policy makers to put mathematics first and uses this as the guiding principle in making choices about technology in the classroom, restructuring curriculum, and high-stakes testing. Finally, in a set of essays on the mathematical practices in the Common Core State Standards, Seeley reminds us that it is not simply mathematical content that we want students to master. Rather, we should also seek to instill in our students the essential habits of mind that are the hallmark of mathematical thinking, arguably the essential skill for thriving in the twenty-first century."
—John A. Pelesko, Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Delaware
"Cathy Seeley's sequel to Faster Isn't Smarterprovides another notable source of inspiring and relevant messages; I have been eagerly awaiting the release of it to use with our teachers in our professional development programs. The messages are well-suited for book studies or personal reflections. Our teachers and leaders loved Cathy's first book and benefited from reading and discussing her recommendations and insights. I expect the same effusive, superlative responses to the motivational messages in Smarter Than We Think. Cathy is a national treasure."
—Dr. Anne Papakonstantinou, Director of Rice University
School Mathematics Project and Clinical Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Wiess School of Natural Sciences, Rice University
"Whilst the need to learn new ideas is exciting, for many it can also be daunting. This book shines a guiding light through the uncertain terrain ahead … to have one of the country's leaders in mathematics education take what we know from the latest science and weave it into ideas for teachers, parents, and teacher leaders is a wonderful gift."
—Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education, Stanford University and founder of youcubed.org
"Parents, teachers, and school leaders all have different concerns and speak different languages about math education. Cathy Seeley speaks fluently to each group with advice and understanding in her brisk and useful book. This is going to be a hit!"
—Dan Meyer, Math Educator
"The messages in Smarter Than We Think focus on the real challenges at work in our schools today: a changing student population and how to support their learning along with teaching, leading, and thinking in a Common Core world. These timely foci are accompanied by five recommendations from Cathy. This book is one I will share and use with our teachers—it will be an invaluable resource and inspiration for their work."
—Catherine Martin, Director, Mathematics and Science Division of Teaching and Learning
Denver Public Schools
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