Empathetic Storytelling to Critically Challenge Systemic Educational Structures. - Leiden, Netherlands. Brill Publishers
Discussions of high-stakes standardized assessments permeate conversations at all levels of education. Standardized assessments are not inherently bad. However, the collective meaning our society makes of them is cause for concern.
Sean Nank has studied mathematics teachers using a reform curriculum. Due in large part to the pressure to teach only topics covered on standardized assessments, the teachers often use standardized assessments to determine what they teach and as a convenient justification for how they teach.
Using standardized assessments in lieu of teachers’ professional judgment and collaboration risks changing the face of mathematics education for years to come. Mathematics education stands on a precipice of competing definitions. A generation of students may vie mathematics as rigidly devoid of the beauty inherent in the subject unless we place educating students before increasing one score on one standardized assessment once a year.
“Each case he describes is carefully considered through influential factors that lead to the detailed outcomes . . . [Dr. Nank] portrays no tone of unevenness or judgment. It is a work of science, presenting us with new knowledge . . . to better understand our field of mathematics education, and help to understand what may influence curricular and pedagogical change . . . The real concern that emerges for the reader is not whether one curriculum is better than another, but a profound ethical dilemma about the role of high stakes testing in mathematics education.”
Brian R. Lawler, PhD
This book is a collection of 50 autobiographical stories of PAEMST educators’ journeys through life and their educational experiences, both as students and as teachers. Their candid stories are inspirational as they offer metaphorical and practical insight into the making of outstanding teachers. Inherent in the stories is an understanding of what education is from the teachers’ perspectives. The insight captured in these stories makes this collection an invaluable window into teachers’ endeavors to become great. Click the cover or here to purchase The Making of a Presidential Mathematics & Science Educator
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the only K-12 education award issued by the President of the United States. It is the highest award in the entire nation that anyone can bestow on mathematics and science teachers. During one of the award weeks in Washington DC, a guest speaker told the new awardees that when they returned to their schools and communities, people might wonder, “What makes you so great (as a teacher)?” This book is, in part, an answer to that query.
This book is a gift to the teaching profession and to other groups concerned with teaching from 50 experienced schoolteachers – all recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. It is a collection of the teachers’ individual stories, written by them, about how they first went about becoming teachers, then outstanding teachers, and ultimately career-teachers. All their stories are about practice – about taking action in the world, specifically in schools, in hopes of making them more humane places. As such, the collected stories speak unequivocally about the central place that practicing goodness occupies in teaching. . .
This book exemplifies the promise inherent in schoolteachers’ stories about their development as teachers. Wonderfully accessible and richly detailed, the collected stories succeed in taking readers into the teachers’ “world” so that, however vicariously, we feel that we are “there” with them, able to understand their world as they do. The stories call to us, compelling our interest because, instead of the usual generic list of “best practices” or stereotypical platitudes about teaching’s joys, they put us in touch with the particulars of teaching. We see the multidimensional, strenuous, and always uncertain effort that is involved in determining how to act well with others. One of the volume's most striking features is the vividness of the teachers' biographies and how deftly the teachers connect them with their practice. Like good lessons, the stories show us rather than tell us how the teachers teach. . .
The reach and the evocative sensibility expressed in this teacher’s story characterize the other teachers’ stories, making the volume as a whole remarkable. For instance, a speaker at the 2009 PAEMST award ceremony posed a provocative question to the awardees, one the editor subsequently asked them to take up in these stories: “What makes you so great [as a teacher]?” The prompt led me to expect evidence of teaching “greatness” - perhaps a table of average yearly progress (AYP) or advanced placement (AP) test scores, an extended version of a vitae, or letters of commendation from students or colleagues. However, the teachers do not respond directly to the prompt (except for a few who state flat out that their teaching is “nothing special”). Instead, the teachers politely, almost surreptitiously, modulate the prompt to talk about good teaching, not great teaching. Good teaching makes sense in their “world,” where connections with students, colleagues, and the profession in the real-time intimacy of practice are of the essence, rather than hierarchy, academics, competition, and distance. Such small but deeply thoughtful shifts are indicative of the care with which these teachers regard teaching. They make this collection an invaluable resource for use in university courses intent on putting teachers’ knowledge of practice into play in education.
20) Nank, S., & Murawska, J. M. (Publish date late 2023). Empathetic storytelling to critically challenge systemic educational structures. Leiden, Netherlands. Brill Publishers.
19) Nank, S. (Ed.) (2011). The making of a presidential mathematics and science educator, volume 1. Chicago, IL: Discovery Association Publishing House.
18) Nank, S. (2011). Testing over teaching: Mathematics education in the 21st century. Chicago, IL: Discovery Association Publishing House.
Articles and chapters in books:
17) Nank, S., Murawska, J. M., & Edgar, S. J. (in press). It’s off the screen: Unearthing megagons through technology. Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12 (MTLT).
16) Nank, S., & Nank, K. (2021). Breaking the Pattern of Covert and Overt Sexism. Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter, Summer 2021, Indianapolis, Indiana: ACE. Retrieved from: https://www.smore.com/a7stm-diversity-and-inclusion-newsletter?ref=email
15) Nank, S., & Murawska, J. (2021). You’re muted: The true importance of professional development in the midst of a pandemic. NCSM Inspiration!, 51, (4), 9-18. Drive: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HNwJMIVm4VqWbc-WHOe_umuV-dmMvSCx/view
14) Nank, S., Sheehy, K., & Chang, C. (2021). Finding a path for equitable mathematical student discourse: Targeted universalism meets human-centered design. Amplify. Retrieved from: https://amplify.com/finding-a-path-for-equitable-mathematical-student-discourse/
13) Nank, S. (2021). Overcoming math barriers: Grading for learning using randomized digital formative assessments. Taiwan.
12) Nank, S. (Winter, 2020). Color Brave Conversations. Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter. Indianapolis, Indiana: ACE. Retrieved from: https://www.smore.com/03dc5-diversity-and-inclusion-newsletter?ref=email
11) Nank, S. (Interviewee), Paula Phillips (Interviewer). (2018) The beauty of math. On the Right Road. Retrieved from: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/104795/the-beauty-of-math
10) Nank, S. (Interviewee), Vicki Davis (Interviewer). (2018). iPad for masterful math: Randomizing formative math assessment. Episode 228. The Cool Cat Teacher. Retrieved from: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/ipads-masterful-math-randomizing-formative-math-assessment/
9) Nank, S. (2017). Seven steps for adapting technology to the classroom. Southeast Education Network (SEEN) (19, 1).Retrieved from: http://www.seenmagazine.us/Articles/Article-Detail/ArticleId/6500/Seven-Steps-for-Adapting-Technology-to-the-Classroom
8) Nank, S. (Interviewee), Goode, R. W. (Author). (2017). You need math awareness – here’s why: collaboration, decomposing numbers, and pattern recognition are key to developing numeracy skills. Black Enterprise. Retrieved from: http://www.blackenterprise.com/education/you-need-math-awareness-heres-why/
7) Nank, S. (2017). Balancing math education: Interview with Sean Nank, PhD. Kindergarten Kiosk. Retrieved from: https://www.kindergartenkiosk.com/podcast/4/27/balancing-math-education-interview-with-sean-nank-phd
6) Nank, S. (Interviewee), Will, M. (Author). (2017). Math ‘makes the world more beautiful’: A professor’s advice on teaching math. Education Week. Retrieved from: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2017/04/math_teacher_qa.html?cmp=soc-edit-tw
5) Nank, S. (Interviewee), Schaffhauser, D. (Author). (2017). What’s out in 2017: 5 ed tech trends on the way out in 2017. THE Journal: Transforming Education Through Technology (44, 2). pp. 14 – 17. Retrieved from: https://digital.1105media.com/THEJournal/2017/THE_1703/TJ_1703Q1.html#p=1
4) Nank, S. (Interviewee), Harrington, T. (Author) (2017). Q&A: Tips and insights from a common core math expert. EdSource. Retrieved from: https://edsource.org/2017/qa-tips-and-insights-from-a-common-core-math-expert/577388
3) Nank, S. (Interviewee), Schaffhauser, D. (Author). (2017). What’s hot: 9 major ed tech trends for 2017. THE Journal: Transforming Education Through Technology. Retrieved from:: https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/01/12/whats-hot-9-major-ed-tech-trends-for-2017.aspx
2) Nank, S. (2011). The present moment. In S. Nank (Ed.), The making of a presidential mathematics and science educator. Volume 1 (pp. 77-84). Chicago, IL: Discovery Association Publishing House.
1) Nank, S. (2003). Qualitative or quantitative research? A mathematical perspective. In J. Sandelski & K. DeLockery (Eds.), Open Genre (pp. 88-91). Chicago, IL: Discovery Press.