Let Their Brilliance Shine

“Anyone who teaches children that they need to silently comply through painful experiences before they will be allowed to let their brilliance shine has no intention of ever allowing that brilliance to shine, and will not be able to see it when it does.”

Emma Gargroetzi

Dear New York Times, Do Better


A few weeks ago, in the newsletter I publish to help education leaders stay current on new thinking in education, I shared some writing about math education.

This week, public opinion on math education is being polarized again, this time in Alberta, with words like “back to basics”, “discovery math”, “declining math scores”.

The polarization of opinion isn’t necessary. There are many aspects of math education we can all agree on. Voiced Radio is working on finding this common understanding of what we know about mathematics and how to teach it to children.

“All too often, the conversations we have about math education are polarized, shallow and steeped in emotion. Do The Math is a special series dedicated to taking more time to explore the ideas, the research and the approaches to thinking about mathematics education in the modern age. It’s not about everyone getting along. But it is about changing the way we listen to each other when it comes to this important dimension of education.

Below is a collection of recent writing to help us think about what math education should look like for our children.


Credit: Mathforlove.com


What happens when children become math zombies, marching through memorized “steps” to do mathematics without an understanding of why? Sunil Singh explores this in his recent piece on Medium.


Math instruction has been a topic of much discussion this week.  There was this response to the August 8 New York Times Opinion Piece

Melissa Peddie from Ontario wrote this response to the polarization around how math needs to be taught in schools.


Dan Meyer weighed in with a wonderfully practical look at procedural fluency in the absence of conceptual understanding.


As math teachers, we’ve all encountered some of the ridiculous examples Dan shares, but what have we done about it?



Featured image:

Jeppe Hove Jensen

One thought on “Let Their Brilliance Shine

  1. That’s a great Ted Talk! I’ve sort of decided that the PD I want involved me being a math student rather than a “learning how to teach math” student. I need to re-learn some of the math I think I already know, but in the way we teach it now. I need to look for that.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *