is a world where every person is empowered to know mathematics personally, powerfully, and joyfully, in order to more deeply understand ourselves, our communities, and our world.
is to achieve our vision by fostering math teaching that assures all teachers, students, and communities are mathematically powerful, recognize their own value as mathematical thinkers, and confidently pursue mathematical learning without limit.
MEC strives to achieve this mission by
Translating research into classroom practice,
Providing workshops for K-20 teachers, students, administrators, and communities,
Facilitating classroom-based support for teachers,
Partnering with districts and leaders to secure a well-informed public,
Speaking to professional organizations, colleagues, and communities,
Creating and collecting high quality and well-informed resource materials,
Engaging in conversations and research pertaining to math education, and
Collaborating with partners to improve mathematics education for all learners.
Our approach to professional learning is to position teachers, leaders, and communities first as learners in an environment that fully models the teaching and learning we envision for students. Then the collective work of improving the student experience can be built upon this shared learning and upon a common vision of how the classroom can look and feel.
Teachers cannot be expected to meaningfully make changes, administrators can’t meaningfully create space for changes, and communities can’t meaningfully support changes that they don’t deeply understand. It is the experience of being fully immersed in the learning environment as a learner that truly shifts beliefs about the teaching and learning of mathematics. Without this experience, conversations about improving math learning for students remain largely hypothetical, limited by the past math experiences of those making decisions. When all stakeholders are positioned as powerful mathematical learners, priorities and decisions can be fully informed.
MEC recognizes that all learners have mathematical ideas worth listening to and we strive to create environments where all learners come to know math…
Participants in MEC workshops are immersed in a classroom culture in which mathematical agency is kindled through meaningful inquiry. They are given time and space to investigate and make their own sense of mathematical ideas and situations. A menu structure and expandable tasks encourage collaborative and independent problem solving. This structure provides student choice and equitably differentiated instruction without labeling learners. During this process, learners come to understand themselves as mathematical thinkers who have unique ideas to contribute. They understand the mathematics deeply and know their own ideas are valuable and applicable to their world. Learners always have control over when and how they share their thinking, and all mathematical thinking is welcome.
MEC workshops allow participants to experience robust units of study in which ‘big’ mathematical ideas are confronted. These ideas are investigated in multiple contexts and from various perspectives. Meaningful student-to-student discourse is carefully facilitated. This discourse is driven by sense-making, the forming of mathematically convincing arguments, and questioning that seeks to understand (rather than change) the thinking of others. An essential outcome of this approach is that learners see themselves and each other as powerful mathematical thinkers. They appreciate the importance of how their thinking is similar or different, and authentically make connections between the mathematics they are experiencing personally, within the classroom, and out in the world.
In this learning environment, divergent thinking is valued and encouraged. Cognitive dissonance is recognized as necessary to learning, and mistakes and confusion are embraced as sites for new understanding. When the humanness at the center of this process becomes a cornerstone of mathematics culture, true mathematical thinking can happen where learners feel amusement, wonder, excitement, and pride…the hallmarks of joy.