Writing

Faster Isn’t Smarter: Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century (Second Edition)

Just published in spring of 2015, the second edition of this award-winning book* is completely updated and expanded, including four new messages on girls, technology, teaching, and mathematical thinking. Message #45, “Math is Supposed to Make Sense!” is also published in the June 4, 2015 Math Solutions Newsletter (http://mathsolutions.com/curriculum/
math-is-supposed-to-make-sense/).

Based on Cathy L. Seeley’s popular NCTM President’s Messages, and including dozens of other messages, Faster Isn’t Smarter: Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century offers straight talk and common sense about some of the most thought-provoking and important issues today. With topics ranging from the impact of rising expectations and the trap of timed tests to the role of technology and the phenomenon of jumping on bandwagons, this book provides a base for lively discussion among teachers, parents, leaders, and policy makers.

*Recognized by the American Association of Educational Publishers with a Distinguished Achievement Award.

Second edition 2015 (originally published in 2009).

Smarter Than We Think: More Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century

Smarter Than We Think is a must-read for parents, teachers, policy makers, or anyone who cares about the mathematical education of the next generation. Seeley tackles common misconceptions about students, and she challenges teachers and teacher educators to engage students by turning their classrooms “upside-down” and to rethink what “everyone knows” about teaching mathematics.

She exhorts policy makers to put mathematics first and uses this as the guiding principle in making choices about technology in the classroom, restructuring curriculum, and high-stakes testing. Finally, in a set of essays on the mathematical practices in the Common Core State Standards, Seeley reminds us that it is not simply mathematical content that we want students to master. Rather, we should also seek to instill in our students the essential habits of mind that are the hallmark of mathematical thinking, arguably the essential skill for thriving in the twenty-first century.

Published in 2014 (a finalist for the American Association of Publishers REVERE award for Leadership).

Current and Favorite Writing:

Some of my favorite things to write have been short pieces—messages—like those in my two books, inspired by my NCTM President’s Messages. I am always eager to write more things like this. So if there’s an education topic you want me to write about, please let me know.

NCTM President’s Messages, 2004-2006. See especially Embracing Accountability, Excel Gold Medal Recipient, Society of National Association Publishers, 2005.

Writing about Burkina Faso

Other Publications:

  • “Math is Supposed to Make Sense!” (Message 45 from Faster Isn’t Smarter, Second Edition),
    June 4, 2015 Math Solutions Curriculum Newsletter
    (http://mathsolutions.com/curriculum/
math-is-supposed-to-make-sense/).
  • “Choosing Common Sense in the Face of Common Core Chaos,” NCSM Newsletter, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Fall 2014, Vol. 45, No. 1.
  • Fey, Jim and multiple authors (including Cathy Seeley), “Soundoff: The Future of High School Mathematics,” Mathematics Teacher, March 2014, Vol. 107, No. 7.
  • “Whatever the Destination—Preparing Students for Life After High School,” NCSM Newsletter, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Spring 2013, Vol. 43, No. 3.
  • “Learning Spanish and Leading Change,” NCSM Newsletter, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Summer 2012, Vol. 42, No. 4.
  • Hull, Susan Hudson and Seeley, Cathy L. “High School to Post-Secondary Education: Challenges of Transition” in Curriculum Issues in an Era of Common Core State Standards. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2012.
  • Brown, Lisa C. and Seeley, Cathy L. “Transitions from Middle School to High School—Crossing the Bridge,” in Curriculum Issues in an Era of Common Core State Standards. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2012.
  • Schielack, Janie and Seeley, Cathy L. “Transitions from Elementary to Middle School Math,” in Curriculum Issues in an Era of Common Core State Standards. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2012.
  • Cook, Kathi; Seeley, Cathy; and Chaput, Linda, “Online Assessment Tools for Secondary Mathematics” in New Frontiers in Formative Assessment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2011.
  • “Fixing High School: Looking Ahead and Dealing with Now,” NCSM Newsletter, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Spring 2011, Vol. 41, No. 3.
  • “Common Sense and the Common Core—The Steps We Need to Take,” Math Solutions Online Newsletter, February 2011 (http://www.mathsolutions.com/documents/Common-Sense-Common-Core-Seeley.pdf)
  • “Common Core State Standards—The Opportunity, Our Responsibility, and the Challenges Ahead,” NCSM Newsletter, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Fall 2010, Vol. 41, No. 1.
  • “Navigating the Peaks and Valleys of Teaching,” New England Mathematics Journal, May 2010, vol. XLII.
  • “Finding Talent Where We Least Expect It,” NCSM Newsletter, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, Spring 2010, Vol. 40, No. 3.
  • Hull, Susan Hudson and Seeley, Cathy L. “Contemporary Curriculum Issues: High School to Postsecondary Education—Challenges of Transition,” Mathematics Teacher, February 2010, Vol. 103, No. 6.
  • Brown, Lisa C. and Seeley, Cathy L. “Contemporary Curriculum Issues: Transitions from Middle School to High School—Crossing the Bridge,” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Feb. 2010, Vol. 15, No. 6.
  • Schielack, Janie and Seeley, Cathy L. “Contemporary Curriculum Issues: Transitions from Elementary to Middle School Math,” Teaching Children Mathematics, February 2010, Vol. 16, No. 6.
  • “We’ve Got the Village, Now What? Looking at Professional Learning Communities,” Math Solutions Online Newsletter, September 2009.
  • Schielack, Jane and Seeley, Cathy. “Implementation of the NCTM’s Curriculum Focal Points: Concept versus Content,” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, September 2007, Vol. 13, No. 2.
  • Seeley, Cathy and Schielack, Jane. “A Look at the Development of Ratios, Rates, and Proportionality in Curriculum Focal Points: A Quest for Coherence,” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, October 2007, Vol. 13, No. 3.
  • Schielack, Jane and Seeley, Cathy. “A Look at the Development Of Data Representation and Analysis in Curriculum Focal Points: A Quest for Coherence,” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, November 2007, Vol. 13, No. 4.
  • Seeley, Cathy and Schielack, Jane. “A Look at the Development of Algebraic Thinking in Curriculum Focal Points: A Quest for Coherence,” Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Dec. 2007, Vol. 13, No. 5.
  • Seeley, Cathy L.; Hagelberger, Bonnie; Schielack, Jane F.; and Krehbiel, Ken. “In My Opinion: Using Calculators in Elementary School,” Teaching Children Mathematics, September 2005, Vol. 12, Iss. 2, p. 52.
  • Series of eighteen President’s Messages on timely topics in mathematics education, 2004 – 2006 (http://www.nctm.org/news/pastpresident); received gold and silver EXCEL awards from the Society of National Association Publications for two selected President’s Messages, 2004-2005.
  • “21st Century Mathematics,” Principal Leadership, National Association of Secondary School Principals, December 2004.
  • “Mathematics Textbook Adoption in the United States,” in A History of School Mathematics, edited by George M. A. Stanic and Jeremy Kilpatrick, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2003.
  • “Line Dancing in Texas: One State’s Experience in System Alignment,” Dialogues, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, March 1999.
  • “Ten Kinds of Wonderful: New Roles for Math Teachers,” Wisconsin Teacher of Mathematics, Spring 1999; (also reprinted in various local professional publications in other states).
  • Moving Toward World Class: Maintaining the Momentum of Fifteen Years of Mathematics and Science Reform in Texas and the US, primary author, Issue Brief #3, Texas Statewide Systemic Initiative, 1998.
  • “What Mathematics for Whom?” in Conference Proceedings of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project’s Fourth International Conference (1998).
  • Algebra 1-4: Implementing Policies that Serve All Students, primary author, Issue Brief #2, Texas Statewide Systemic Initiative, 1998.
  • “What is the Matter with Math Scores?” Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) Newsletter, March 1998.
  • What it Means to Implement the TEKS (TX Essential Knowledge and Skills), primary author, Issue Brief #1, TX Statewide Systemic Initiative, 1997 (reprinted: TX Association of Secondary School Principals Journal).
  • “Changing the Mathematics We Teach,” in Seventy-Five Years of Progress: Prospects for School Mathematics, edited by Iris Carl, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1995.
  • “Teaching Algebra in the Real World,” in What’s a Teacher to Do? New Curricula for New Standards, National Alliance for Restructuring Education / New Standards Project, 1994.
  • “Increasing Access or Ensuring Failure? Policy Makers Throw a Hammer into the Wall,” in Algebra for the 21st Century: Proceedings of the August 1992 Conference, NCTM, 1992.
  • “Problem Solving Is,” STEAM Across Texas, Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Spring, 1991.
  • Illusion and Accountability: Partners in Reform, informal paper prepared for the Mathematics Assessment Study Group of the National Research Council, 1991.
  • Starting Today: A Guide to Improving Texas Mathematics Programs for the 1990s, (with staff), Texas Education Agency, 1991.
  • “Ben Jiménez, Where Are You?” Texas Mathematics Teacher, October 1990.
  • Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, (one of 24 writers), NCTM, 1989.
  • “Technology as a Bridge to Thinking,” Realistic Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH), Texas Education Agency, 1988.
  • “The Role of Calculators in Elementary Mathematics Instruction,” STEAM Across TX, Feb. 1988.
  • “Change, Not Chaos,” Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics Newsletter, July 1987.
  • “Elementary Mathematics: The Good Stuff,” STEAM Across Texas, Summer, 1987.
  • “An Opportunity for Leadership,” National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Newsletter, March 1987.
  • “The Mathematics Program: An Overview and Explanation,” (with staff), Focus on Learning Problems in Mathematics, Summer, 1987.
  • Mathematics Framework K-12, (with staff), Texas Education Agency, 1986.
  • “The Critical Nature of Algebra I,” Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics Newsletter, 1985.
  • Project STAMM dissemination materials, Jefferson County (CO) Schools, 1977 – 1979.
  • “Metricating Painlessly,” Arithmetic Teacher, October 1974.

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