Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

How to Learn Mathematics - and everything else!


Have you ever achieved well but had the nagging feeling you don’t really understand? Have you ever questioned why so many people fear and dislike mathematics, or other subjects?  or why women and girls often opt out of mathematics when they get the chance, feeling they do not “belong” in STEM? Our world has changed dramatically in recent years - particularly with the availability of technology, and new understandings of the brain, yet many classrooms look strikingly similar to those in the 18th century. This seminar will consider the latest research in learning, neuroscience, and mindset to consider how learners should be engaged. We will also learn together in these ways, encountering quantitative ideas in a visual, creative, and connected way. Students will spend time investigating cases of teaching and learning and developing new ideas to help others learn. This seminar will consider what science tells us about learning, the nature of good teaching, and the reasons for ongoing inequities in our education system. It is for students who are interested in education, and for those who would like to unlock their own learning potential at Stanford. The final project for this class will involve designing or creating tools for education or interviewing students to help discover new insights that will help others learn.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Jo Boaler

Dr Jo Boaler is the Nomellini & Olivier Professor of Education at Stanford University. Former roles have included being the Marie Curie Professor of Mathematics Education in England, and a maths teacher in London comprehensive schools. Her PhD won the national award for educational research in the UK. She is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (Great Britain), and a former president of the International Organization for Women and Mathematics Education (IOWME). She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation ‘Early Career Award’, the NCSM Kay Gilliland Equity Award (2014) and the CMC Walter Denham Mathematics Leadership award (2015). She is the author of fourteen books and numerous research articles. She is a White House presenter on women and girls. She recently formed to give teachers, parents and students the resources and ideas they need to inspire and excite students about mathematics. Her work has been published in the New York Times, TIME magazine, The Telegraph, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and many other news outlets. She was recently named one of the 8 educators “changing the face of education” by the BBC. Her latest book is, Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead & Live without Barriers, published by Harper Collins.

@joboaler (twitter) and jo.boaler (instagram)