Josh Taton, founder of the Philadelphia Area Math Teachers’ Circle, recently published an article about MTCs in Perspectives on Urban Education. His article, “Much More Than It’s Cooked-Up To Be: Reflections on Doing Math and Teachers’ Professional Learning,” argues for re-conceiving math teachers’ professional development. “The main problem with the traditional view of mathematics and mathematics learning and teaching is that it bears little resemblance to how mathematicians actually work,” Taton writes. He argues that math teachers need to become practitioners of the content they teach, and MTCs play an important role in this process.
Taton uses the Brownie problem (left) as an example of the kinds of deep, interesting, perplexing problems his MTC tackles – problems that give teachers an opportunity to “create new language, disagree and debate, and build on one another’s ideas.” In short, to work like mathematicians!