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Jo Boaler wins math education prize

Jo Boaler
Jo Boaler
The Kay Gilliland Equity Award
The Kay Gilliland Equity Award

Jo Boaler wins math education prize

Stanford professor is second awardee to be honored by international group for work advancing equity in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education at Stanford Graduate School of Education, was presented with the Kay Gilliland Equity Award on April 8 in New Orleans, at the annual meeting of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.

The international organization, made up of leaders in the field of mathematics education, cited Boaler for her contributions to equity in mathematics education and leadership in attacking current problems in mathematics curriculum and supervision. Her work examines how traditional math instruction methods, which emphasize drilling and memorization, deter many students from excelling in the field. Known for her championing of more collaborative approaches, she gave a presentation at the meeting titled, “Cutting through the smoke screen: Erasing mathematics inequality through research and action.” 

According to the NCSM website, the award was established in 2013 to honor Kay Gilliland, a California math teacher who served as the group's president and was a founding member of the professional development program, EQUALS, at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley. Boaler is the second person to receive the prize. The first was given to Miriam Leiva, founding president of the group, TODOS: Mathematics for All.

Boaler, the author of seven books including What’s Math Got To Do With It? and The Elephant in the Classroom, has started offering courses online to present more interactive and hands-on approaches to teaching and learninbg mathematics. In addition to offering an online course for teachers and parents, she is also about to offer a course for students.

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