Books, Educator Book Reviews

Educator Book Review: Mathematical Models for Teaching


Mathematical Models for Teaching:
Reasoning without Memorization
Written by Ann Kajander and Tom Boland
Published by Canadian Scholars’ Press
Category: Professional Development, Math

Reviewed by Katie Saunders,
Educator, Anglophone West School District


Mathematical Models for Teaching: Reasoning without Memorization at first glance appears to be similar to a textbook found within university education programs. Progressing though the book however; one will find that the information is relevant to any mathematics teacher regardless of teaching experience. The book is organized sequentially from the early stages of mathematical acquisition to the more complex. Topics range from Addition and Subtraction to Geometry, Probability and Algebra with each explored in detail.


For each mathematical concept the authors provide an argument for the need for student exploration and development of independent strategies.The use of models and representation to create a concrete understanding is stressed as the starting point of any new concept with students naturally progressing to symbolic representation when they are ready.Rote memorization and speed are not essential skills. Each math concept is clearly explained and uses appropriate subject terminology. Multiple methods are presented within each chapter, although not all methods are the most efficient. Definitions are included as are illustrations and multiple student examples. Each chapter ends with chapter problems to reinforce what was learned and recommended future readings with a short description of each provided.

Mathematical Models for Teaching is a comprehensive resource for any K-8 pre-service to experienced math teacher. With a greater need for math teachers to have a conceptual understanding of the how and why of mathematics and therefore relearning math from the way it was taught to them, this book has the potential to be a resource that is referenced often through the year as students progress from one topic to the next. The topics covered are aligned with the key mathematical concepts taught and is current in math pedagogy.