Phil Daro on learning mathematics through problem solving

Here is a video of Phil Daro calling for a change in classroom habits of how we teach students to solve problems. Great quote, from Phil’s daughter: “Daddy, I don’t have time to understand it, I just want to get it right on the test.”

About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.
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4 Responses to Phil Daro on learning mathematics through problem solving

  1. Nancy says:

    Change from “Answer Getting” to “Preparing for Algebra” is well demonstrated. I look forward to sharing Phil’s video with teachers and principals. Thank you for sharing this with us. ~Nancy

  2. Janice says:

    Is this video available at another site? My school has the site black-listed.

    • Patience says:

      Janice usually you can contact your county person (principal should know who) and they can unblock that one site once they see it is ok.

  3. Cathy Kessel says:

    Janice, would downloading the video work for you?

    Phil refers to videos of grade 8 classrooms in Japan and other countries. Some are available here: The web site has a place to log in that is prominently displayed, but according to the web site, logging in is not necessary for viewing the videos. (Some of the transcripts are non-optimal. JP4 SOLVING INEQUALITIES has the phrase “inequality equation” which might work better as “inequality.” Tad Watanabe has a discussion of this in the book Mathematics Curriculum in Pacific Rim Countries (Information Age Publishers, 2008).

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