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Engaging and Empowering ALL Students as Math Learners

David Ginsburg — Chicago Public Schools: Award-winning math teacher and coach (13 yrs); National instructional consultant and coach (11 years)

This conversation will focus on identifying barriers to student engagement and empowerment in math, and brainstorming ways to remove those barriers. A main idea or premise for this conversation is that students’ aversion to math is a response to common curriculum and instructional practices rather than a lack of ability to learn and enjoy math. Once that premise is established, the conversation will be driven by participants’ experiences, perceptions, and biases, with the facilitator summarizing and synthesizing their ideas.

Conversational Practice

A variety of approaches and activities will be used to generate provocative and productive conversation including: an opening prompt aimed at brainstorming barriers to student engagement and empowerment in math; an open-ended scenario featuring a common challenge for math teachers; quotes from leading math educators; and a problem-solving challenge that serves to replicate for participants some of the challenges students experience as math learners.

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