I admit, I’ve been slacking.

Much like when I was in college, the online courses don’t command my attention unless I pick time during the week to dedicate to them.

As a result, I’m a little behind in the How to Learn Maths course by Stanford professor Jo Boaler, though it’s not from lack of solid material.

(Truth be told, I had a busy weekend and had a lot on my mind.)

To that end, I’m posting here my Concept Map (not really) for the discussion of why students are averse to maths education.

As you can see, the Easy and Practical maths (Quadrant I, top right) are brightest because they’re easiest and quickest to consume. While I can’t speak for the U.K. or other areas, the United States is *very* interested in quick consumption and disposal with no lasting effect.

…this extends to their math as well.

Quadrant I holds maths that are quickly calculated using simple formulas and requiring no greater understanding of mathematics. These are especially appealing to American teenagers; the Big Mac of maths, if you will.

Quadrant II (top left) is math that is easy to grasp, but not typically applicable to real life. Many of the 3-Acts fall into this category, and that’s okay.

Quadrant IV (bottom right) is math that is easy to do, but won’t be used often in real life. If it can be done easily in Excel or Google Sheets, it goes here.

And the student interest fades with the colors as we travel to Quadrant III (bottom left) where math is difficult, uninspiring, and never used again after the course.

I asked my (physician) father if I should take Calculus 2 and 3 in college. He responded, “Only if you want a job as a very narrow form of geek.”

I’m now a math teacher.

I should have figured one of my favorite math teachers to follow would have been in the same class and have designed a much more creative Concept Map. I just got around to starting the class last week (and you thought you were behind!) and mine was not creative whatsoever.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the Mistake Poster in session 3. I can only dream of it involving mullets. 🙂

the 3 act link isn’t working for me. Was that a link to Dan Meyer’s work?

Also, I like the idea of placing math concepts on a cartesian type plane, but I believe that graph only represents the perception of a concepts application and difficulty level. For example, I am a firm believer in the mathematical habits of mind and would move all concepts out of quadrants 2 and 3, since I believe that the process of thinking mathematically is a real life application in itself. But my students might only interpret a real life connection as something that they directly use each day and thus place a particular concept in quadrant 2 or 3.

I might use this type of a graph as a source for debate in class when we approach a new unit. Thanks!