6 Books Math Educators Should Read in 2024

Jan 3, 2024 5:57:59 PM


I asked several math teachers to share some of their favorite math education books they read over the past year. They provided many great book selections, and I highly recommend them for educators interested in broadening their horizons in 2024. 

1. Mathematics for Human Flourishing” by Francis Su 

Last year, I was grateful to interview Dr. Su on my Radical Math Talk podcast, where he shared his desire for schools and teachers to adopt an inclusive vision for mathematics. Even if you’re not a math lover, this thought-provoking book by Francis Su will change your perception of math and make you appreciate how math meets our basic desires. As Su asserts, math has the power to bridge human connections.


2. Choosing to See by Pamela Seda and Kyndall Brown 

In recent years, math educators have had intentional conversations about making classrooms more equitable for historically marginalized learners. Dr. Seda and Dr. Brown offer a set of helpful, practical interventions teachers can employ to make math learning more equitable and meet the needs of Black and brown students. To learn more about the book, you can check out my interview with Dr. Seda on the Radical Math Talk podcast.


3. Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics by Peter Liljedahl 

As Dr. Liljedahl states, “A thinking student is an engaged student.” If you are looking for a book that will guide you with strategies to enhance student engagement and critical thinking in the math classroom, this book is for you!


4. Conferring in the Math Classroom by Gina Picha 

For those looking for innovative ways to encourage students to talk more about math during class, I encourage you to check out this book. In the book, Picha offers transformative ways for teachers to use math conferences to assess student understanding, guide instruction, and build positive math identities. 


5. Is Maths Real? by Eugenia Cheng

In this phenomenal book, Dr. Cheng describes how our human curiosity pushes us to engage in a deeper exploration of the intricacies of math. Rather than confine ourselves to rigid algorithms and computation rules, he advises us to spend more time asking insightful questions and less time seeking answers.


6. 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Math Discussions by Margaret S. Smith and Mary K. Stein 

This is another book for teachers who want to learn how to facilitate meaningful and effective math conversations. Through the five practices provided in the book, students can develop a deeper conceptual understanding of the math content they’re learning.

There were many more great books that I could’ve added to this list. Take some time to reflect on your professional goals as a math teacher and see if any of these books can be a valuable resource to help you reach those goals.

And remember this: if we’re not investing time in our professional learning as math educators, how can we expect our students to develop into stronger math learners?

What books would you recommend?

Kwame Sarfo-Mensah

Kwame Sarfo-Mensah is the founder of Identity Talk Consulting, LLC., an independent educational consulting firm that provides professional development and consulting services globally to educators who desire to enhance their instructional practices and reach their utmost potential in the classroom. He is the author of two books, "Shaping the Teacher Identity: 8 Lessons That Will Help Define the Teacher in You" and his latest, "From Inaction to 'In Action': Creating a New Normal for Urban Educators". Throughout his 14-year career as a middle school math educator, author, and entrepreneur, Kwame has been on a personal mission to uplift and empower educators who are committed to reversing the ills of the public education system in America and around the world. As a staunch ambassador and advocate for teacher empowerment, Kwame has spoken at numerous national education conferences and worked diligently to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color in the education system. In January 2019, he was one of 35 Massachusetts teachers of color chosen by Commissioner Jeff Riley to be in the inaugural cohort of the InSPIRED (In-Service Professionals Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity) Fellowship, an initiative organized by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for veteran teachers of color to recruit students of color at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels to teach in targeted districts within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As an InSPIRED Teaching Fellow, Kwame facilitated professional development workshops for aspiring teachers at universities such as Boston College, UMass Boston, and Worcester State University and has served as a guest speaker for non-profit teacher pipeline programs such as Generation Teach and Worcester Public Schools’ Future Teachers Academy. A proud graduate of Temple University, Kwame holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in education. He was honored as the 2019 National Member of the Year by Black Educators Rock, Inc. for his unwavering commitment to the advancement of the teacher profession.

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