Book and Article Reviews

A few solid articles and some books that I’ve enjoyed reading (mostly related to maths education).

1. Book – Boaler, J. (2010). The Elephant in the Classroom. UK: Souvenir Press Ltd.

A great book about the benefits of mixed-ability classes, problem based learning and rich tasks – thoroughly recommend!

2. Book – Kaiser, G., Luna, E. & Huntley, I. (1999). International Comparisons in Mathematics Education. New York: Routledge

I bought this after looking on the Cambridge University book list for a Masters in Maths Education. It’s provides a solid foundation for anyone interested in learning about international comparisons.

3. Book – Boaler, J. & Humphreys, C. (2005). Connecting Mathematical Ideas: Middle School Video Cases to Support Teaching and Learning. UK: Heineman.

This book comes with a DVD which shows Cathy Humphreys teaching a year 7 class over the course of the year.  She concentrates on getting the students to understand mathematics through dicsussion and visual representations using rich tasks. Her own deep reflections and Jo Boalers reflections are outstanding.

4. Book – Chambers, P. (2008). Teaching Mathematics. UK: Sage Publications Ltd.

This book provides a general overview of many aspects of mathematics teaching which would be beneficial to a trainee teacher.

5. Research – Marshall, B. & Drummond, M. J. (2006). How teachers engage with Assessment for learning: lessons from the classroom. Research Papers in Education 21(2). 133-149.

Out of all the research papers I’ve read on AfL, I gained the most from this one. The research is a small qualitative study based on a fundamental assumption that effective AfL is about promoting pupil autonomy. Teachers that embodied the spirit of AfL put high value on pupil autonomy and allowed the students to devise their own quality criteria for a topic through deep discussion and questionning. Some of the teachers in the study who only adopted a surface approach to AfL were those who used strategies such as peer assessment or questionning, but may not have valued pupil autonomy as highly. The best bit about the paper in my opinion was the in-depth comparisons between different teachers lessons to gain a deeper understanding of what ‘good’ AfL is.

6. Book – Wiliam, D. (2011). Embedded Formative Assessment. Bloomington: Solution Tree Press.

Absolutely outstanding read! A nice balance of theory intertwined with brilliant practical strategies to improve your general understanding of what AfL is and how to effectively assess student learning. It is essential that all teachers read this book.

7. Research – Nichol, D.J. & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education 31(2). 199-218.

Some excellent practical classroom strategies to promote self-regulated learning.

8. Daniela Vasile: Student Generated Questions. (ATM – Sep 2012)

Her reflections on a lesson that involved students generating their own equations to solve.

9. Hodgen, J. & Wiliam, D. (2006). Mathematics inside the black box. London: GL Assessment Limited.

Focussing on three essential components of formative assessment in mathematics classrooms: classroom dialogue, feedback and marking and peer and self assessment.

10. Hirst, K. E. & Weir, A. J. (1981). Undergraduate Investigations in Mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 12(5), 373-387.

See Blog Post.

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