When I first got interested in teaching math, I was inspired by a film series from Annenberg Media that focused on innovative math teaching. It showed a path towards making mathematics more inclusive, more playful, and more likely to build problem solvers for the future. But then No Child Left Behind was passed and suddenly teachers were forced to abandon these aspirations, instead extracting more and more of their class time for teaching to the test.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, there was an innovator, an education disruptor, who chose not to inflict such a meaningless educational experience on his students. He left the classroom and chose to work with math teachers and school districts who were willing to bring deep mathematical learning and playfulness back into the classroom.
Sunil Singh, aka @Mathgarden, shared some of his story on Cake a little over a year ago. He then published, in the spring of 2019, some of his innovative ideas in Math Recess. I had the pleasure of chatting with Sunil’s co-author Dr. Chris Brownell, aka @cbrownlmath, earlier this month.
Now I’m excited by the news that Sunil Singh’s message has the chance to be heard by an even broader audience in a new film on education. Hopefully parents who’ve grown up believing “I can’t do math” will be inspired to want a more humane math experience for their children, where math becomes a pathway to new opportunities rather than a gatekeeper.
Here’s the trailer, release date to be announced soon.