Book Reviews

Changing the Face of Mathematics

The “Perspectives on Gender” issue of this series of books on mathematics education provides a broad overview of the issue of the gender gap in mathematics, which refers to the fact that, on average, boys outperform girls in mathematics.

Culturally Specific Pedagogy in the Mathematics Classroom
Jacqueline Leonard

Leonard works to articulate why students of marginalized groups in society are not having their needs met by their educational experiences.

Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics
Liping Ma

Based on the premise that children in China greatly outperform American children in mathematics, Ma set out to examine teachers’ mathematical knowledge in hopes of finding a contributing factor to the disparity.

Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding
Hiebert, J. et al.

Based on the premise that children in China greatly outperform American children in mathematics, Ma set out to examine teachers’ mathematical knowledge in hopes of finding a contributing factor to the disparity.

Motivation Matters and Interest Counts: Fostering Engagement in Mathematics
Amanda Jansen and James Middleton

Why do some children disengage from mathematics? Middleton and Jansen answer these questions with one word: motivation.

Overcoming Math Anxiety
Shelia Tobias

Overcoming Math Anxiety is an intelligent and research oriented look at Math Anxiety; a debilitation that many individuals live with on a daily basis.

Reading and Writing the World with Mathematics
Eric Gutstein

Eric Gutstein’s book, Reading and Writing the World with Mathematics, examines the issue of equity and mathematics from two perspectives: equity in and out of the classroom.

Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice: Conversations with Educators
Anita A Wager & David W. Stinson

This book acts as a vehicle to guide readers through their development of an individual definition, or understanding, of social justice in mathematics through reflecting on the contributions of its authors.

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
Charles Seife

In his novel, Seife manages to weave accurate mathematical proofs into a human account of the origins and history of the number zero.

The Housekeeper and the Professor
Yoko Ogawa

A delightful read about a mathematics professor who experienced brain damage in an accident, leaving him with only 80 minutes of present-time memory since the accident henceforth.

The Number Devil
Hans Magnus Enzensberger

In this fantastical journey through a boy’s dreams, we encounter a Number Devil who shares what seems like magic in everyday number patterns.

The Teaching Gap: Best Ideas from the World’s Teachers for Improving Education in the Classroom
James W. Stigler & James Hiebert

Instead of best-practice recommendations of the quick-fix variety, the authors recommend the slow-and-steady Japanese Lesson Study method for consistently improving teaching in the long run.

Thinking in Numbers
Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet shares a historical, linguistic and sociological look into the world of mathematics through 24 rich and detailed essays that offer perspective on the way we make meaning of our lives through mathematics.

‘What’s Math Got To Do With It?’
Jo Boaler

The book is very straightforward and easy to read making it easy to engage with, even for those who do not have a solid foundation in mathematics.

Why Before How – Singapore Math Computation Strategies
Jana Hazekamp

This book  explains the Singapore math approach and gives concrete lessons, pictorial representations and guided conversations that assist teachers in implementing and facilitating these approaches.

So You Have to Teach Math? Sound Advice for K-6 Teachers
Marilyn Burns and Robyn Silbey

Catering to teachers at all levels of experience, “So You Have to Teach Math?:  Sound Advice for K-6 Teachers” addresses student’s and teacher’s misconceptions about elementary level mathematics.

Visible Thinking in the K-8 Mathematics Classroom
Ted H. Hull, Don S. Balka & Ruth Harbin Miles

This book is teacher-friendly with numerous examples of how traditional questions that require minimal thinking can be adapted into alternative problems that foster visible thinking.

The Myth of Ability – Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child
John Mighton

Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies” (JUMP) promotes a mastery learning method of math instruction, aimed at helping struggling students catch up quickly.