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Ed Southall’s new book “Yes, but why? Teaching for Understanding in Mathematics” is the most interesting mathematics education book that I have read in a long time. It is packed full of fascinating nuggets of information, pedagogical advice and suggestions for the classroom. The authors meticulous research is clear throughout, as is his consideration to correct pedagogy. In my opinion, this book should be required reading for all trainee maths teachers, and even the most experienced teachers will, no doubt, learn something.
This is the book that we've all been waiting for! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and was astonished by how much new stuff I learnt. This book makes mathematical concepts crystal clear. It provides fascinating insights and helpful teaching tips for a comprehensive range of topics. This book has given me a fresh burst of enthusiasm for teaching our wonderful subject! It's a must buy for all new and experienced maths teachers.
I am currently in my 12th year of teaching maths, and it scares me just how little I really understand about the subject I love.
Why are eleven and twelve not called one-teen and two-teen? Why does a negative times a negative equal a positive? Why can I just flip the second fraction over and change to a multiply when I want to divide? Why does the Venn diagram method produce the highest common factor and lowest common multiple of two numbers? Why is the volume of a pointed shape equal to a third of the volume of the full shape?
If you teach Maths, this is THE book that you need to read - whatever stage of your career or phase you teach. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that 'knowing' the material we are teaching is vitally important but Ed manages to combine essential content knowledge with pedagogical knowledge and he does it with such clarity and passion that this book is exactly the type of “subject knowledge” the profession needs.
For the curious learner inside and in front of every maths teacher asking “Yes but why?”, Ed has compiled an accessible and comprehensive compendium of “well, becauses”. He offers straightforward explanations and diagrams in a thorough breakdown of maths topics from grade 1 to 9. The text is peppered with much-needed derivations of technical vocab, algebraic proofs, and historical origins of maths, not to mention mathematical oddities like the meaning of ‘degenerate polygons’, the ‘obelus’ and ‘sexy prime triplets’!
The structure of the book is helpful and the visuals are really helpful as are the teachers tips they really support the readers understanding of the process.