My Philosophy of Math Education
I believe education is a path to a higher quality of life, a way of preparation for purposeful living, and a doorway to realizing dreams, addressing social dilemmas, and leaving a mark of excellence on the hearts and minds of present and future generations.
Math is hard when one does not understand math concepts, lack problem solving skills, and/or has little confidence in one's math ability. With over 25 years in math education (i.e., classroom teaching, training other teachers, and researching math education for best practices and what works on student learning, pedagogy, and curriculum planning), I understand this reality fully.
Math is made easy when a person understands math concepts and how to apply problem solving strategies and techniques. In other words, confidence in math is a function of (or depends on) one's competency in math. So, math is hard when you don't understand it and math is easy when you do understand it. This is why I teach math for understanding. I always say, "You have not fully grasped math until you can do it and explain it."
To this end, my goal is to help students develop their math proficiency according to the following 3 Phases of Math Understanding:
- Math Sentences: expressions and equations
- Word Sentences: building math literacy (or verbally speaking the language of mathematics)
- Picture or Model: modeling math concepts and real-life situations, graphic organizers (graphs, charts, and diagrams) and visualizing algorithmic thinking
Math is Life. Math is a reflection of life. We use math to represent and describe things that occur in life. Science is a way that we come to know and understand the world or natural phenomena. Hence, math and science go hand in hand because we use math to represent and describe the things we come to know through science.
My Motto - Math is Life and Life is Math! by Dr. Abdulalim A. Shabazz (Math Guru)
-Dr. Chris Harrison, Ed.D. | Managing Partner and Instructor