Faster Isn't Smarter (2nd Edition): Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century

Faster Isn't Smarter (2nd Edition): Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century

by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Paperback(second edition)



Featuring 41 entirely updated messages and four new ones, this second edition continues to offer straight talk and common sense about some of today’s most important, thought-provoking issues in education. With themes ranging from equity, intelligence, and the incredible potential of all students to challenging students to think with a problem-centered approach focused on student engagement and classroom discourse, the book provides a base for lively discussion among elementary, middle, and high school teachers; leaders; policy makers; and families.
Entirely updated, including new messages.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935099727
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/01/2015
Edition description: second edition
Pages: 393
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Foreword Marilyn Burns xi

Introduction xiii

How to Use This Book xvii

I A National Perspective 1

Message 1 Math for a Flattening World

Reshaping School Mathematics for Changing Times 3

Message 2 Untapped Potential

Moving Past the Achievement Gap 9

Message 3 Making the Case for Creativity

Part of Being a Mathematical Thinker 17

Message 4 Good Old Days

Learning from the Roads We've Traveled 23

Message 5 Technology Is a Tool

Shifting How We Teach Mathematics in a Technological World 32

Message 6 "Teach Harder!" Isn't the Answer

Working Together to Teach Smarter, Not Harder 39

Message 7 Not Your Grandpa's Algebra

Preparing All Students for College and the Workforce 45

Message 8 More Math, More Dropouts?

How We Raise the Bar Matters 52

Message 9 When the Hammer Hits the Wall

Making Sure Every Student Meets High Standards 59

Message 10 It's Not Just About Math and Reading

The Need for a Well-Balanced Curriculum 66

Message 11 Weighing Hens

Looking at Benchmark Testing 72

Message 12 Beyond Band-Aids and Bandwagons

Making Lasting Change that Works 79

Message 13 Seek First to Understand

Bridging Perspectives and Building on Differences 86

II A School Perspective 91

Message 14 Balance Is Basic

What It Takes to be Mathematically Prepared Today 93

Message 15 Less Can Be More

The Importance of Focus in Teaching Mathematics 101

Message 16 Hard Arithmetic Isn't Deep Mathematics

The Importance of Depth in Teaching Mathematics 107

Message 17 Constructive Struggling

The Value of Challenging Our Students 113

Message 18 Faster Isn't Smarter

The Trouble with Timed Tests 120

Message 19 Embracing Accountability

Surviving the Test While Teaching Good Mathematics 126

Message 20 Putting Calculators in Their Place

The Role of Calculators and Computation in the Classroom 131

Message 21 No More Pilgrim Pie

The Challenges of Integrating Mathematics with Other Subjects 138

Message 22 We Don't Care About the Answer

YES, WE DO. Looking for Balance 145

Message 23 The Power of Patterns

Drawing on Mathematical Patterns as we Teach 151

Message 24 Do It in Your Head

The Power of Mental Math 158

Message 25 Pushing Algebra Down

Is Sooner Better? 163

Message 26 Beyond Pockets of Wonderfulness

The Power of Articulation and Collaboration 171

Message 27 A Math Message to Families

Helping Students Prepare for the Future 177

III Real Students and Real Teachers

Mathematics in Today's Classrooms 185

Message 28 So Now You're a Teacher

Becoming Part of a Mathematics Teaching Community 187

Message 29 The Evolution of a Mathematics Teacher

How We Develop as Professionals 192

Message 30 Crystal's Calculator

Learning From Our Students 198

Message 31 Do They Really Need It?

A Lesson in Expectations from Africa 205

Message 32 Yes, but…

Believing in Every Student 211

Message 33 Engaged in What?

Activity Isn't Always Engagement 218

Message 34 Forgetting Isn't Forever

Relegating Review to its Proper Place 223

Message 35 Putting Testing in Perspective

How to Handle High-Stakes Tests 230

Message 36 I Know What an 82 Means!

Grades and Grading in Today's Mathematics Classroom 238

Message 37 Boring!

Is Keeping Students Interested a Teacher's Job? 245

Message 38 Ten Kinds of Wonderful

Roles for Effective Mathematics Teachers 251

Message 39 Standing on the Shoulders…

Learning from Each Other 259

Message 40 Seven Steps Toward Being a Better Math Teacher

A Path of Lifelong Improvement 264

Message 41 Thank You, Mr. Bender

Celebrating Teachers Who Make a Difference 272

IV Bonus Messages for the Second Edition

More Thoughts on Equity, Technology, Teaching, and Mathematical Thinking 277

Message 42 Girls Count, Too

Does Gender Still Matter in Math Class? 279

Message 43 Are Math Teachers Obsolete?

The Human Factor in High-Tech Learning 288

Message 44 Who's Driving?

Students Taking the Wheel in the Mathematics Classroom 296

Message 45 Math Is Supposed to Make Sense!

The Most Important Mathematical Habit of Mind 302

Afterword 309

Acknowledgments 315

Appendices 317

A Sources for Finding Worthwhile Problems and Tasks 319

B Selecting and Evaluating Worthwhile Tasks 323

C Essential Library 324

D Research Summaries and Statements on Key Issues in School Mathematics 327

Resources and References 330

Index 349

About the Author 373

Customer Reviews