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What is Russian Math, Anyway?


Last week, NPR ran a story detailing the "Russian Math" phenomenon, following the growth of the Russian School of Mathematics from a kitchen-table passion project to a school that serves over 20,000 students across the country. But what is "Russian Math," and how does it differ from other approaches?

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When it Comes to Girls and STEM: Learning Environment Matters

My first job after immigrating to the United States was as a mechanical/software engineer for a small engineering company. At the time, it was a company of five engineers, all male, and a female accountant and secretary - fairly standard demographics for 1989. Then, suddenly, the owner of the company decided to hire me - a 30-year-old female mechanical and computer engineer from the...
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A Guide to Math Competitions


Students of all ages can benefit from participating in math competitions. Competitive, timed tests allow children to showcase their knowledge and compare themselves to their peers. Taking part in these olympiads also generates pride among students in the level of math knowledge that they've attained. And regular participation in math competitions can also be a boon for future college...

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The Problem with Problems


Problems have a bad rap. Facing a sudden problem disturbs our life routine, takes time and effort from things we like or have to do every day, and forces us to focus on the unpleasantness of solving something difficult in order to remove it and move on.

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Learned Helplessness

Every teacher knows that one girl or boy in her classroom who just won't do "it," whatever "it" is: a math problem, essay writing, or jumping rope. A teacher's gentle encouragement of these students tends to fall on deaf ears because they have an unfortunate condition I like to call "learned helplessness."

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