Mathematics Education Colloquium Series

This lecture series in Mathematics Education is supported by Teachers for a New Era (TNE), and is organized by Profs. Juliana Belding, CK Cheung and Solomon Friedberg (Mathematics) and Prof. Lillie Albert (Teaching, Curriculum, and Society). It is intended for math educators at all levels, school administrators and support staff, mathematicians interested in K-12 math education, and future math educators. In-service mathematics teachers are especially encouraged to attend, as are all Noyce Master Teaching Fellows who are participating in BC's NSF funded program "Developing Exemplary Mathematics Teacher Leaders for High-Need Schools: Content, Equity and Leadership."

For are virtual colloquium please e-mail Prof. Albert at for Zoom links.

2023-2024 Colloquium Schedule

October 12, 2023

Speaker: Prof. Ilana Horn, Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University

Time: 4:00 p.m.

Location: Campion Hall, Room 139

Title: Against “Best Practices” in Secondary Mathematics Teaching: Lessons from Collaborative Research

Abstract: Talk of “best practices” is everywhere in teacher education. Professional developers, school administrators, and teachers themselves talk about them all the time when they seek to improve instruction. In this talk, I will share results from a 7-year research practice partnership with exemplary secondary mathematics teachers who work in a large urban district. In our work, we collaborated with teachers to support their instructional growth. Our data reveal that, contrary to common practice, “best practices” talk shut down the exploration of complex teaching situation, thereby inhibiting teachers’ learning. I illustrate this through some examples, concluding that, as a field, we should move away from “best practices” language toward more expansive notions of good teaching.

February 8, 2024

Speaker: Dr. James Tanton, Global Math Project, Co-Founder and Mathematician at Large, the Mathematical Association of America

Time: 4:00 p.m.

Location: Campion Hall, Room 139

Title: Quadratics and their algebra

Abstract: Let’s explore a very standard, and somewhat dry,  curriculum tropic – solving quadratic equations --and see how to transform it into a student experience that is meaningful, powerful, and relevant to living in the 21st century. (After all, if you want to solve a quadratic equation, just ask Siri!) Let's use this concrete example to then explore the scary question: Given that we live in a world where answers to questions are readily available, what are we math teachers actually teaching the next generation of citizens of the world? I'll share my answer to this question ... and, heads up, it is profoundly optimistic . The K-12 curriculum might still be in the 19th-century, but we can each nonetheless do right by our students of today.


Previous Colloquium