California Dreaming Reforming Mathematics Education Suzanne M. Wilson

Publication date:
11 Oct 2002
Yale University Press
320 pages: 235 x 156mm
Sales territories:

This compelling book tells the history of the past two decades of efforts to reform mathematics education in California. That history is a contentious one, full of such fervor and heat that participants and observers often refer to the “math wars.” Suzanne M. Wilson considers the many perspectives of those involved in math reform, weaving a tapestry of facts, philosophies, conversations, events, and personalities into a vivid narrative. While her focus is on California, the implications of her book extend to struggles over education policy and practice throughout the United States.

Wilson’s three-dimensional account of math education reform efforts reveals how the debates tend to be deeply ideological and how people come to feel misunderstood and misrepresented. She examines the myths used to explain the failure of reforms, the actual reasons for failure, and the importance of taking multiple perspectives into account when planning and implementing reform.

Suzanne M. Wilson is professor in the Department of Teacher Education and director of the Center for the Scholarship of Teaching at Michigan State University.

?California Dreaming provides an excellent overview of the successes and failures of math reform. . . . Wilson?s book is a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in the politics of reform and mathematics education.??Anthony Nottingham, American School Board Journal

?Wilson challenges the often facile and formulaic explanations given for the failure of educational improvement. She helps us to reframe the questions most important to ask and the problems most important to solve.??Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan

?Wilson offers a dynamic in-depth analysis of California?s systemic reform of mathematics education during the latter part of the 20th century and the subsequent counter-reform as an illustration of schools as ?a great theater in which we play out . . . conflicts in the culture.?. . . Recommended.??Choice

?Wilson?s book is worth reading by research mathematicians and mathematics educators alike.??Anthony Ralston, Notices of the American Mathematical Society