How can open ended inquiry questions in math put power in our students’ hands? José Vilson explains.


Let’s be honest: math class gets a bad rap.

If you’re not a math teacher, you might be guilty of telling your students that math just wasn’t your “thing.” If you are a math teacher, you’ve probably been frustrated by other teachers’ willingness to throw your entire subject under the bus. Even as educators, we often let our personal experiences, phobias, and anxieties cloud our view of math. Is it any surprise that students are apprehensive when they walk through the door of their own math class?

In today’s podcast, National Board Certified Teacher José Vilson explains that math should not be about fear; rather, math is about power. Math is about student inquiry and curiosity. Math is about our students taking agency over their learning and trusting themselves to figure out their own mistakes, rather than relying so heavily on the authority of a teacher.

Through a riveting discussion on José’s scientific notation project, inquiry strategies in the classroom, and views on education as a whole, we learn how viewing math from a different perspective could benefit everyone—especially our students.

Thanks for listening today. Check out our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at The Suggestion Box Podcast. If you’d like to suggest an idea to us, contact us at thesuggestionboxpodcast@gmail.com. We’re excited to hear from you!

Partner organization:

Flint Hills Writing Project - They believe in teachers teaching teachers. Check out fhwp.org for more information or email them at fhwp.nwp@gmail.com.


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