Future of Learning Top Reads for Week of July 15 2019

“Jo Boaler Wants Everyone to Love Math,” by Sam Scott, in Stanford Magazine

“As a researcher, teacher and evangelist, Boaler is a leading voice for a wholly different pedagogy where speed is out, depth is in, and the journey to an answer can be as important as the destination. It’s an approach where sense-making matters more than memorization and retaining ‘math facts’ matters less than understanding how such facts interconnect.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Math isn’t primarily about computation. It is about making sense of the world through numbers. That why, for example, Boaler recommends “number talks” in which students discuss how they approached the problem.

“The idea is that by discussing, comparing and visualizing their differing approaches, students build their own sense of context, connection and numeracy. 5 x 18 = 90 isn’t just a fact to memorize; it is a key to building a broader strategy for breaking down other problems.”

Boaler teaches in Stanford’s STEP program and founded the Stanford-based website Youcubed.org. The website’s free lesson plans and projects are, by design, “low floor and high ceiling” to engage every kind of student in Math sensemaking.

Her Stanford colleague Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, believes that Boaler is leveraging the power of growth mindset: “Boaler is one of those rare and remarkable educators who not only know the secret of great teaching but also know how to give that gift to others,” Dweck has written.


“Guest FMIA: Indy GM Chris Ballard on Scouting and the Power of Sundays,” by Chris Ballard, on NBC.com Sports

“We go the extra mile to delve into players and see how they’ll fit. You are telling the locker room every time you draft a player, ‘this is what we stand for.’ If you bring in someone with a poor work ethic, or someone who is selfish, or someone who is unwilling to put in the work, you’re telling the locker room that that’s OK. Jerry Angelo used to say all the time that the talent of a player will tell you his ceiling, but his football character determines his floor. It’s critical to get that right, so we know the floor.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

While it may seem unorthodox to reference the NFL in a blog about the future of learning, Ballard—the general manager for the Indianapolis Colts—offers an insight for anyone responsible for finding and cultivating distinctive talent:

Every time you hire, you are announcing to everyone in your organization, “This is what we stand for.”

The same holds true for the people you promote.

Nothing happens in your school without your teachers and your staff. When you hire and promote, what are you telling people that you stand for?


Question of the week:



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Christian Talbot