The Intersection

Math Voices: Educator and Mathematician Perspectives

May 5, 2015


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and The Hunt Institute have collaborated on the production of a series of videos to enhance understanding of the mathematics skills students need to succeed in college, life and careers. Beginning with mathematics in the primary grades, Math Voices: Educators and Mathematicians Talk About College and Career Ready Standards and Improving Mathematics Teaching and Learningaddresses the importance of developing a solid foundation for Algebra that includes numbers and operations, ratios and proportions as well as preparation for calculus and other postsecondary mathematics coursework.  It also covers the standards for mathematical practice and why conceptual understanding requires a different approach to teaching and learning.

In addition to excerpts from several classrooms in Maryland and Massachusetts, there are interviews with elementary classroom teachers, secondary mathematics teachers, instructional leaders and coaches, principals, parent leaders, national mathematics experts, and college mathematics professors and researchers. Although the videos are intended primarily for parents, policymakers and educators may also find them to be a helpful resource.


Many issues that have been the subject of considerable debate are answered by educators in the videos series, including:

  • Are the Common Core State Standards developmentally appropriate for young children?
  • Will students be required to learn math facts and the most common procedure (or algorithm) for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division?
  • What can parents do to support their children’s learning of mathematics? How can they help with homework?
  • Why is understanding how a problem is solved as important as finding the right answer?
  • What skills are most important to ensure success in algebra?
  • Is student performance in mathematics improving as teaching is focused on developing understanding and not simply rote memorization?
  • How are students best prepared for college coursework in mathematics, whether in calculus or statistics, a branch of mathematics now essential for a growing number of careers?
  • Can mathematical understanding be enhanced by challenging students with real-world problems?

The Math Voices video series can be accessed on the NCTM website and The Hunt Institute YouTube channel.

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