RYSK: Gutiérrez's Political Conocimiento for Teaching Mathematics: Why Teachers Need It and How to Develop It (2018)

Rochelle Gutiérrez keynoting the 2016 CCTM Conference
I haven't used the "RYSK" tag for a blog post in almost four years, but only because I've taken to summarizing research over on the MathEd.net Wiki. That wiki turns five years old this month while this blog turns eight! I think my best strategy is to summarize on the wiki and editorialize here on the blog, and the events of this week demanded that I break my blogging silence and deal with an issue of the moment.

Last Monday I was riding the bus home when Google stuck an article from an anti-liberal education site called Campus Reform into my news feed. It was about a math education professor and white privilege, so I checked it out (in incognito mode — I try not to give Google the wrong ideas about the sites I want more news from). The article was about Rochelle Gutiérrez and honestly, it didn't say all that much except to highlight connections Rochelle was making between math and white privilege. The comments below the article were...what you'd probably expect. I closed the story and didn't think much about it, other than, "I wonder if this story will go anywhere?"

Go somewhere, it did. On Wednesday Google showed me that Fox News had picked up the story. Predictably in this era of internet news, it wasn't original reporting on the content of Rochelle's work. It was just a rehash of the Campus Reform article and it was getting a lot of comments. Judging by what I was seeing, the Fox News patrons didn't seem to have read Rochelle's work either. I searched Twitter for use of Rochelle's handle and saw she was getting a lot of negative comments with some blatant harassment thrown in (I reported one person whose account was subsequently found in violation of Twitter's rules). Those people didn't appear to have read Rochelle's chapter, either. (A notable exception: Jason Miller's post and conversation on Google+, which took the rational approach of asking "Does anyone know more about this?" and got replies like, "Here's more info, but not enough to draw conclusions." Score +1 for Google+.)

If I've learned anything in 2017, it's that I need to be upset/outraged on my own schedule and on my own terms. That usually means doing more listening and learning and not jumping into a soon-forgotten online fray. So I ordered the book Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods, in which Rochelle's chapter appears, and waited a few days for it to arrive so I could actually read it before commenting.

I've now read and summarized the chapter on the MathEd.net Wiki. Did Rochelle link the privilege of mathematics to the privilege of being White? Did she say we perpetuate that privilege when we focus on Greek mathematical history and not that of other peoples? Did she say we should see mathematical knowledge is relational, and not objective? Yes, she did say all those things, and in that way the original Campus Reform article was mostly accurate. Where it wasn't accurate — and led many other sites and their audiences astray — was representing Rochelle's chapter as mostly about those things. Rochelle made most of those statements in a page or two, then spent the rest of her 27 pages laying out a framework of teacher knowledge meant to help prospective teachers deal with the political realities that affect their work.

What strikes me after reading the chapter is that Rochelle names many political influences on teaching and education that are also common targets of the right: Common Core, Pearson, big philanthropic foundations, bureaucratic inefficiency and misdirection, and control of schools that doesn't reflect local needs. There is plenty of common ground to be explored in the chapter if people choose to look for it and discuss it. The news sites could have done that, but they didn't. It wouldn't be sensational enough to generate traffic and ad revenue, and their typical narrative doesn't leave room for discussing the development of political knowledge meant to benefit traditionally underserved students.

Now that things have (probably) quieted down, we can look at Rochelle's chapter for the reasons she wrote it: to inform math teacher educators who want to help prospective teachers deal with the political pressures and distractions that can interfere with giving students the help they need. If you are a math teacher educator, this looks like a book you should have. I've put the table of contents on the wiki along with the summary of Rochelle's chapter.

This Week in Math Ed: April 21, 2017

Math Ed Said

April 14: If you missed the Ignite talks at this year's NCSM conference, The Math Forum has recordings of them for you here.

Shared by: Farshid Safi, Math Coach Rivera, F. Skip Fennell, Jill Gough, The Math Forum, Christine Newell, Jocelyn Dagenais, Christine Newell, Annie Fetter, Brian Shay, Shauna Hedgepeth, Brian Bushart, Suzanne Alejandre

April 15: What were your favorite parts of the NCSM and NCTM conferences? Tracy Johnston Zager reflects on her conference experiences with "NCSM/NCTM My Favorite." Stick around for the comments.

Shared by: Zack Miller, Robert Kaplinsky, Genni Steele, Matt Larson, Jen McAleer, Lane Walker, Mike Flynn, Carl Oliver, Bryan Anderson, Jill Gough, Andrew Gael, Christine Newell, Tracy Johnston Zager

April 16: Following the NCTM Annual Meeting, Andrew Gael said "We Need YOU!" and asked for feedback to help the future of NCTM's publishing committee.

Shared by: Nate Goza, Megan Hayes-Golding, Megan Schmidt, Elham Kazemi, Michael Fenton, Allison Hintz, Anna Blinstein, Tina Cardone, Tracy Johnston Zager, Christine Newell, Bridget Dunbar, Brian Bushart, Heather Johnson, Graham Fletcher, Kate Nowak, Shelley Carranza, Tim Hudson, Jennifer Bell, Robert Kaplinsky, Carl Oliver, Andrew Gael

April 17: More people were sharing Andrew Gael's request for input about the future of NCTM's publishing committee.

Shared by: NCTM, Jose Vilson, Andrew Gael, Sadie Estrella, Jennifer Wilson, Suzanne Alejandre, Zak Champagne, Annie Fetter, Matt Vaudrey, Amy Lucenta, Max Ray-Riek, Mike Flynn

Kristin Umland presenting at the 2017 NCTM Annual Meeting
April 18: Congratulations to Kristin Umland for receiving the AMS Impact Award for her contributions and efforts to improve math education.

Shared by: Barbara Beske, Jennifer Wilson, Heather Johnson, Andrew Gael, Jody Guarino, Ashli Black, Kristin Gray, Vanessa Cerrahoglu, Bridget Dunbar, Nik Doran, Jen Silverman, David Petersen, Kate Nowak, Bowen Kerins, Illustrative Maths

April 19: The Saskatchewan Mathematics Teachers' Society shined their Spotlight on the Profession on Christopher Danielson.

Shared by: Jonathan Edmonds, Bryan Anderson, Nat Banting, Jill Rubinstein, Earl Samuelson, Jill Gough, Simon Gregg, Ilona Vashchyshyn

April 20: Dan Meyer wrote "How I Present" where he describes his process for assembling a conference presentation.

Shared by: Theresa Walker, Kaitie O'Bryan, Kate Owens, Patrick Honner, Emily Campbell, Jill Gough, Andrew Gael, Robert Kaplinsky, Dan Meyer, Ed Campos Jr, John Golden, Laura Wheeler, Matthew Oldridge

This Week in Math Ed: April 14, 2017

Math Ed Said

April 7: Desmos has a beta Geometry site, which looks to have features similar to Geogebra and Sketchpad.

Shared by: Cathy Yenca, George Carganilla, Steven Francis, Allison Krasnow, Bridget Dunbar, Jedidiah Butler, Heather Kohn, Andy Zsiga, Steve Phelps, David Sabol, Jen McAleer, Sara VanDerWerf, Steve Phelps, Jonathan Osters, Bob Lochel, Ilona Vashchyshyn, Kevin Lawrence, Carl Oliver, Steve Fuguet, Anna Blinstein, Mike Larson, Anna Vance, Audrey McLaren, Jack Brown, Bryn Humberstone, Zack Miller, Eddi Vulić, Andrew Shauver, Jo Morgan, Andrew Busch, Robin Mathews, John Gibson, Jon Orr, Karen McPherson, Kathy Henderson, Rebecca Afghani, Ed Campos Jr

April 8: More people were sharing Desmos's Geometry site.

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Gregory Taylor, Carol Keating, Ethan Weker, Joanne Crooks, Rene Grimes, Bryan Anderson, Pam J. Wilson, Keith Jones, Kirsten Silverman, Matt Leiss, Morgan Fierst, Annie Perkins, Shauna Hedgepeth, John Golden, Ryan Smith, Julia Finneyfrock, Jennifer Blinzler, Heather Sugrue, Simon Gregg, Mary Bourassa

April 9: More people found reasons to share "The Desmos Geometry Tool," this time with a Desmos blog post.

Shared by: Ryan R Ruff, Geoff Wake, Matt Vaudrey, Steve Fuguet, Edmund Harriss, Peg Cagle, Dylan Kane, PhET Sims, Keith Jones, Amanda Haskell, Matt Owen, Jason Merrill, Cathy Yenca, Nerissa Gerodias, Julia Finneyfrock, Mattie B, John O'Malley IV, Kimberly Wassmuth, Daniel Luevanos, Craig Klement, Rusty Anderson, Jon Orr, Zach Cresswell, Jeremiah Ruesch, George Carganilla, Laura Wheeler, Annie Perkins, Brian Bushart, Norma Gordon, Mary Bourassa, Stephanie Ling, Farshid Safi, Anna Blinstein, Martin Joyce, Julie Reulbach, Ethan Weker, Nanette Johnson, Andrew Busch, Eddi Vulić, Jennifer Blinzler, Audrey McLaren, Kevin Lawrence, Karl Fisch, Megan Heine, Janice Novakowski, Christine Newell, Jocelyn Dagenais, Kathy Henderson, Patty Stephens, Desmos.com

April 10: If you're looking for NCSM and NCTM presentations that had connections to Illustrative Mathematics, look no further than right here.

Shared by: Vanessa Cerrahoglu, Karen McPherson, Richard V DeMerchant, Barbara Beske, Bowen Kerins, Theodore Chao, Kate Nowak, Lindel, Jill Gough, Christina Sherman, Kaneka Turner, Nanette Johnson, Shauna Hedgepeth, David Petersen, Kristin Gray, J Clarke, Illustrative Maths

April 11: If you've ever wondered what you needed to know about applying to speak at NCTM, Robert Kaplinsky has some answers. The post includes links to the video of him presenting with Dan Meyer on this topic, as well as details about how speaker proposals are scored.

Shared by: Bryan Anderson, CMC - CA MathCouncil, Jill Rubinstein, OCTM, Heather Johnson, Patrick Honner, Ethan Weker, Sarah Bush, Farshid Safi, Dan Meyer, Bridget Dunbar, Kate Nowak, Ed Campos Jr, Jocelyn Dagenais, Christine Newell, Robert Kaplinsky

April 12: With a not-so-surprising result, a "Study finds female professors outperform men in service -- to their possible professional detriment."

Shared by: Life LeGeros, Heather Johnson, Jennifer Wilson, TJ Hitchman, David Coffey, Ilana Horn

Fawn Nguyen at Innov8 2016
April 13: Fawn Nguyen shared "Lillian," a post about a former student who passionately describes in a video why she's tired of trying to live up to others' expectations. Definitely worth watching.

Shared by: Genni Steele, Federico Chialvo, Andrew Gael, Matt Vaudrey, John Golden, Gene Jordan, Karl Fisch, Nerissa Gerodias, Anna Blinstein, Bryan Anderson, Sharon Vestal, Lisa Bejarano, Robert Kaplinsky, Fawn Nguyen

This Week in Math Ed: April 7, 2017

John Urschel, the breakout star of NCTM17
Perhaps my favorite part of working for the Colorado Department of Education is that I get to engage with the mathematics education community, curate what I find, and share it with others. It's part of my job. Unfortunately, I've had very little time for this lately, so instead of falling a few weeks behind, I suddenly find myself a few months behind! Can I catch up? The only way to find out is to go back to March 31st. I was away at the ASSM, NCSM, and NCTM conferences, which was great for my personal learning but tough on my blogging schedule!

Math Ed Said

March 31: Jamie Duncan pushes for number talks and other forms of promoting student arithmetic reasoning in "The Mother of Fluency." One takeaway from this post should be a need for patience and a strategy for playing the long game, instead of knee-jerk reactions to moments when students appear to lack fluency.

Shared by: Rusty Anderson, Ann Gaffney, Lindel, Annie Forest, Jamie Duncan, Rosa Serratore, Tracy Johnston Zager, Margie Pearse, Math Coach Rivera

April 1: Desmos.com announced a plaid Spring Makeover for the Desmos Graphing Calculator. For April 1, anyway.

Shared by: Shelley Carranza, Sherri Burroughs, Cathy Yenca, Jocelyn Dagenais, Mary Williams, Desmos.com, Ben Morris, Allison Krasnow, Dewey Gottlieb, Audrey McLaren, David Petersen, Bridget Dunbar, Mary Gambrel

April 2: Math ed reporter extraordinaire Katrina Schwartz shares some Teaching Channel videos in a KQED post called, "How Kids Benefit From Learning To Explain Their Math Thinking."

Shared by: Christina Tondevold, Pat Power, Nicholas Smith, Kendra Lomax, Ed Campos Jr., Keith Devlin, David Coffey, Alex Overwijk

April 3: Jo Boaler writes in The Hechinger Report, "It's time to stop the clock on math anxiety; here's the latest research on how."

Shared by: Math Coach Rivera, John Berray, Kathy Henderson, Dewey Gottlieb, Nita Cochran, Lisa Melton Pizzuto, Rosa Serratore, Jamie Garner, Nicole Enzinger, Darren Burris, Robbyn Glinsmann, Laura Wagenman, Jennifer Lawler, Norma Gordon, Janine Franklin, Nikki Fife, Paul Gray, George Woodbury, Alison Hansel, John Rowe, Siri Anderson, Chris Kalmbach, Jo Boaler

April 4: Robert Kaplinsky makes an important point about the need for context when asking students about area and perimeter.

Shared by: Laura Wagenman, Josh Fisher, OCTM, Jen McAleer, Siri Anderson, WMC - WI MathCouncil, Alison Hansel, Robert Kaplinsky

April 5: Jo Boaler was surveying people to see which grade levels they wanted to see YouCubed make books for first.

Shared by: Kathy Henderson, Jen McAleer, Tyrone Martinez Black, Alison Hansel, Ben Woodford, Jo Boaler

April 6: If you've ever looked for tutorials on how to create things in Desmos, here they are.
Shared by: Mike Larson, Bryn Humberstone, Jon Orr, Michael Fenton, Kimberly Wassmuth, Jen Silverman, Danielle Reycer, Jocelyn Dagenais, Jocelyn Dagenais, Brian Bushart, Cathy Yenca

This Week in Math Ed: March 31, 2017

The Alamo!
(Weird fact: Turn 180 degrees and you'd be taking a picture of the Ripley's Believe it or Not across the street.)

Hello from San Antonio! I'm here for the ASSM Annual Meeting and am preparing for a great week of learning from NCSM and NCTM. It's the busiest week of my math ed year, and I was determined to get caught up with TWiME so my slate will be clean and I can move on to sharing great stuff from here in San Antonio. Oh, and I spent last weekend at the University of Michigan talking math with Deborah Ball. I should write about that, too, but that deserves its own post. If you missed them, here are my abbreviated TWiME posts for the rest of March:
  • Week ending March 3: PD from Peter Liljedhal, PCMI outreach, Youcubed archives, and more.
  • Week ending March 10: Mystery Grid, Marilyn Burns, the difference between modeling math and mathematical modeling, and more.
  • Week ending March 17: Teaching ability and content knowledge, Peter Liljedhal at GMD, Pi Day, and more.
  • Week ending March 24: An ode to blank paper, getting real about growth mindset, improving student participation in number talks, and more.

Math Ed Said

March 24: The NCTM Annual Meeting is around the corner and people are gearing up for all the Ignite talks.

Shared by: Sarah Bush, Jose Vilson, Megan Schmidt, Jonathan Osters, NCTM, Bridget Dunbar, Suzanne Alejandre

March 25: Here are Desmos's Friday Faves for March 24.

Shared by: Martin Joyce, John Golden, April Pforts, Adrianne Burns, Leigh Ann Mitchell, Desmos.com

March 26: Graham Fletcher is back with another installment in his Making Sense Series, this time with "The Progression of Early Number and Counting."

Shared by: Martin Joyce, Jennifer Lawler, Rosa Serratore, Kyle Pearce, Jamie Duncan, Daniel Luevanos, Kim Webb, April Pforts, Devin Anderson, Molly Daley, Christina Sherman, Andrew Gael, Matthew Oldridge, Shelley Carlisle, Margie Pearse, Ann Elise Record, Rusty Anderson, Simon Gregg, Ashley Bingenheimer, Joe Schwartz, Laura Wagenman, Grace Kelemanik, Math Coach Rivera, Graham Fletcher

March 27: I'm sure I'm not the only one who keeps thinking, "Wow, it's pretty cool that Marilyn Burns is blogging." Here she is again, this time with "Preparing and Planning: How I Get Ready for Teaching a Math Lesson." Here Marilyn got into the nitty-gritty details of her planning process, a topic which I think it very important as we think about ways to share lessons that are made for teachers to learn from, not just teach with.

Shared by: John Golden, Mark Chubb, Janice Novakowski, Cathy Campbell, Michael Pershan, Annie Perkins, Andrew Gael, Amanda Jansen, Tracy Johnston Zager, Kat Hendry, Emily Campbell, Jill Gough, Marilyn Burns

March 28: You all think Marilyn Burns is great, too, so you shared this post for a second day: "Preparing and Planning: How I Get Ready for Teaching a Math Lesson."

Shared by: Chris Hunter, Andrew Gael, Marilyn Burns, Ashley Bingenheimer, Marilyn Burns, Katherine Bryant, Rosa Serratore, Christine Newell, Mike Rashid, Bridget Dunbar, Christina Sherman, Genni Steele, David Coffey, Ashley Walther, Matthew Oldridge

March 29: Jo Boaler argues that "The Way We Teach Math Is Holding Women Back." Women are still underrepresented in STEM disciplines, something that I hope changes soon. In math education, women are often in the majority (in a meeting of 18 math PAEMST coordinators yesterday, I was the only male), and through better representation, leadership, and a concerted effort to teach math better, we can keep more doors open for all those who wish to pass through them.

Shared by: Francis Su, Christine K DiPaulo, Alex Freuman, Crystal Morey, Christopher Rohde, Kat Hendry, Kris Karbon, Sarah Reynolds, Christie Madancy, Christina Sherman, Amy Spies, Nita Cochran, Alison Hansel, Kimberly Wassmuth, Jim Pardun, Christine Newell, Ben Woodford, David Coffey, Laura Wagenman, Mr. Keller, Mathematics cian, Jo Boaler

March 30: People continued to buzz about Jo Boaler's latest article, "The Way We Teach Math Is Holding Women Back."

Shared by: Michelle Dupree, Vanessa Cerrahoglu, Kelly Boles, Jen Overley, Christina Barry, Kelly & Megan, Ryan R. Ruff, Egan J. Chernoff, Rebecca Gasper, Ellen Byron, Nick Gerhard, Keith Devlin, Steven Strogatz, Brian R. Lawler, Jennifer Wilson, Kate Owens

Math Ed in Colorado

Quick Updates

You've heard the details about these things before so I won't repeat all of them now. Here are a few things you should know and remember:
  • Work on the review and revision of the Colorado Academic Standards is taking shape. Soon we'll announce who the committee members are. You can submit your feedback on every statement in the standards on CDE's online feedback system through April 30. Our next standards update webinar is April 20th at 3:30. If you missed the previous two webinars, recordings are available on the CDE website.
  • Our work towards new math certifications continues. What started as a request for CDE to create an endorsement for elementary math specialists has shifted and grown. The details are still being worked out, but our goals have stayed the same: We want to help districts hire well-trained math teachers and specialists, and we want to provide career ladders that incentivize and recognize educators who go above and beyond to become better math educators.

Commissioner Anthes to form Teacher Cabinet

Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes recently announced the creation of a "Teacher Cabinet" to consult with about issues of state education policy. It will be made up of 15 teachers from around the state. For more information and to apply, visit the Commissioner's page on the CDE website. The deadline is Friday, May 5!

CML Elections

As part of their becoming an affiliate of NCSM, the Colorado Math Leaders approved a constitution and bylaws at their last meeting and will be holding elections in the coming weeks. The candidates will be announced in the next few days and registered voters can help select our inaugural set of officers. If you're a math leader — anything from a curriculum specialist or a coach or even just a teacher who wants to step up and lead in their building — CML is where you need to be for policy updates, professional learning, and colleagues who share in your efforts to make math teaching better. Email me to request a ballot and to join the CML mailing list.

MAA-Rocky Mountain Section Meeting

If you missed the earlier message, the Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematical Association of America is having a meeting at CSU-Pueblo on April 21-22. For information about schedules, speakers, and registration, see the conference website.

CSPdWeek and BJC

I know the focus here is math, but I know many of you are pulling double-duty in computer science as well. If you're looking for an opportunity to learn more, CSPdWeek will be held again this summer at the Colorado School of Mines from July 17-21. CSPdWeek offers a professional development experience for those who plan to teach AP CS Principles, AP CS A (Java), Exploring Computer Science, or Bootstrap. Counselors are invited to attend half the week for their PD, too. Go to www.cspdweek.org for more information.

Also, if you're interested in summer PD for the Beauty & Joy of Computing (BJC) course, email Tracy Camp at the School of Mines for more information. She has a strategy that combines funding from Donors Choose with a stipend to cover the expenses, but to get all the details it's best to contact her.


Thanks to all of you who nominated a teacher for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Now for the toughest part: Finishing the application! If you've been nominated, I have resources to help you finish your application. If you nominated someone, keep up the encouragement — a lot of great teachers miss out because their application is incomplete!

Job Openings

Here are some positions open across the state of Colorado. If you're interested in posting a job opening to the COmath mailing list, you're welcome to do so. I can also post them in my updates. Of course, don't just post them here — there are far better places to make these announcements. With this list, I just hope to up the odds a bit that the right candidate finds the right job.
  • Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado, is adding a middle school position. If you are interested in living in the mountains, working at a school that combines the work of Jo Boaler with Expeditionary Learning, and being a part of a community that was recently awarded $3 million in funds to get kids outside, this might be the right job for you. Visit their website for more information and a link to an application.
  • STRIVE Prep is looking for talented educators to transform Denver. This includes four positions: Middle School Math Teacher (Multiple Campuses), Middle School Math Teacher Leader, High School Math Teacher (Algebra 1), and Assistant Principal of STEM Instruction.
  • Sterling High School is hiring two high school math teachers starting next fall. Classes include Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Interested applicants can contact Mr. Wally Beardsley, school principal.
  • Denver Public School is seeking a K-12 Director of Mathematics. More information can be found at DPS's job site if you search for DIRECTOR, MATHEMATICS (JOB ID: 19217). The essential functions and objectives include:
    • Develop, support, supervise, coordinate and evaluate District functions in the specific areas of K-12 mathematics. Champions the District’s effort to continuously refine and implement comprehensive instruction programs that are researched-based and aligned with district and state content standards
    • Serve on the department's Leadership Team to monitor and guide the focus and actions of the department in mathematics
    • Facilitate central office curriculum specialists as they focus on the curriculum development needed to improve student assessment measures which are linked to district initiative
    • Observe and offer formal and informal feedback to curriculum specialists and partners concerning planning and instructional delivery
    • Design professional learning in collaboration with curriculum specialists and partners.