Letters from . . . Barry Garelick

I read Letters From John Dewey/Letters From Huck Finn: A Look at Math Education From the Inside by Barry Garelick last night.

I thoroughly enjoyed them; Garelick knows which side of the math wars he’s on and writes about it with a mix of humor and seriousness.

Garelick’s introduction provides a brief overview of the math wars, if you need a primer on the subject. The letters relate a few of his experiences in ed school (training for a second career in teaching mathematics to follow his retirement from a federal government job), student teaching, and substitute teaching.

There were too many good quotes to choose from, so I’ll direct you to the Out In Left Field blog where most of the Huck Finn letters were originally published, and I’ll leave you with this observation worth remembering [from Kindle Locations 352-61]:

The teachers in both videos were extremely good at what they were doing, which brought home an unsettling realization to me: You can be very good at doing something that is absolutely horrible.

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