The Elephant in the Classroom

Jo Boaler

Product Description


Why do millions struggle with mathematics, and what can be done to change that for the next generation?

In The Elephant in the Classroom, Jo Boaler outlines what has gone wrong in mathematics education, identifying the problems facing children in classrooms today. How can children be prepared for the mathematics they will need in the future? They need to be taught to be quantitatively literate, to think flexibly and creatively and how to problem solve.

In this revised and updated edition of the original best-selling The Elephant in the Classroom, which has been re-printed 10 times, Jo Boaler offers more concrete solutions for parents and teachers that will revolutionise children’s experiences with maths.

“We have the research knowledge to change this and for classrooms to become places where all students are inspired by mathematics.” – Jo Boaler

This indispensable guide is a resource for parents, teachers and educationalists, which inspires and enthuses as much as it teaches.

Jo Boaler is currently Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University and was recently selected by the BBC as one of eight people “whose ideas are challenging the future of education”. She is the co-founder of, a website that provides mathematics education resources to parents and teachers. You can visit Jo’s personal website, or follow her on Twitter @joboaler.

Extraordinary Praise for The Elephant in the Classroom:

“The vade-mecum for any parent who is haunted by their child complaining that maths just isn’t for them…The Elephant in the Classroom…has attracted an enthusiastic and vocal fan club among mums, dads and professionals.”
‘Daily Telegraph’

“A very interesting book which addresses some common problems found in the maths classroom which has been well researched and provides positive solutions and practical activities for those interested in trying to encourage students of today to become mathematicians of tomorrow.”
‘Times Educational Supplement’

“Help children to learn to love the subject…Make mathematics more the mathematics that people need out there in the world.”
BBC Radio 4’s ‘Women’s Hour’

“Maths can be fun – if only it’s taught properly…Children who are subjected to dry and narrow maths classes need to know this and they need to be introduced to the real mathematics – the varied and exciting subject that will help them for the rest of their lives.”

“A very readable book that every teacher of mathematics should, at least, delve into… Gives ‘food for THOUGHT’.
‘Mathematics Teaching’

“Fascinating examination of math and math instruction… Boaler makes a strong case for a math revolution that could reduce the animus and help students discover the utility and joy of using the language of numbers.”
‘The Education Digest’

“The heart of the book is the author’s case for a new kind of classroom teaching using cooperative problem solving to encourage deep learning rather than the rote learning of processes… Fascinating case studies… (and) practical examples of games, puzzles, and strategies to use in the classroom or at home.”
‘School Librarian’

“Finally a book which explains how to make maths exciting in school. It focuses mainly on the secondary schools but it does also have implications for every teacher. I would recommend that anyone who is either a maths coordinator, wants to be a maths coordinator, or thinks that their maths coordinator is not the greatest of forward thinkers to go out and buy this book.”
Freeducation blog

“The most important book I have read in the last five years… I would urge anyone who has an interest in education or who has children or grandchildren of school age to get a copy of this book, and see how differently maths could and should be taught.”
The Garden Window blog

“Practical teaching activities, strategies and questions that can transform a child’s mathematical future… Anyone with an interest in our children’s mathematical learning will find it fascinating… Practical and enlightening, it gives plenty of food for thought.”
Parents in Touch

“I’m hoping that my daughter’s teachers have read this book, as I want my girl taught in this way and to develop an interest in the wider subject of maths than is often taught, and to enjoy the process of learning and problem solving. Thanks, Jo Boaler, for opening my eyes.”
The Reading Residence

“Professor Jo Boaler … is on a mission to change the way maths is taught… Her conclusions are fascinating… developments which transform maths lessons into an exciting space where creativity and discussion are as much a feature as endless practice examples from textbooks… A great exposition of a totally different way to teach mathematics.”
The Wright Lines

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