2012 MathFour Manifesto

I gave up New Year’s resolutions years ago. I never kept them, so I figured they were pointless.

Instead I took up creating a yearly manifesto – a short declaration of my current life stance. This year I’m going to do a professional manifesto as well. This is it.

The MathFour.com Mission

Old Document by storebukkebruse | Flickr.com | CCBY
Old Document by storebukkebruse | Flickr.com | CCBY

The mission of MathFour.com is to enhance the effectiveness of student math programs by helping every adult have a more positive influence on children with respect to math.

In less fancy terms – I want all the programs like Mathnasium, TenMarks, Stinky Kid Math, Sokikom and ABC Mouse to be successful. Negative math-talk from parents can diminish the effects these wonderful programs can have. MathFour.com’s goal is to help parents turn off negative math-talk and turn on helpful and effective math influences.

I will follow the research.

I have partnered with a licensed professional counselor. He is currently reading through the social science and psychological research and discovering the value of positive adult influences on children’s success in math. He is presenting a paper on the subject at the Western Social Science Association Conference this year.

The programs in development at MathFour.com will be based on this research.

I will broaden the reach.

The Facebook fan page isn’t working for the mission anymore. I will turn it into something useful. @MathFour on twitter is strong, so I will continue to interact there and be helpful.

I’ll also up the quantity and quality of articles posted here on MathFour.com– making them helpful for parents and teachers and maximizing SEO so they can be found easily.

Reach Out by stuartpilbrow | Flickr.com | CC BY-SA
by stuartpilbrow | Flickr.com | CC BY-SA

I will increase the scope.

The target of the mission is parents. And parents who access MathFour.com must be able to read English and have access to a computer.

These two assumptions could eliminate much of the world’s population from this content.

I’m in the process of forming a non-profit organization so MathFour.com can reach those parents. I have a grant writer on standby ready to get the ball rolling as soon as it’s formed.

I will work more efficiently.

In 2011 I diluted the efforts with various projects. This year holds only one project. And it speaks directly to the mission.

That’s Math! is launching March 1, with a soft launch for MathFourTicians on January 23. Over the course of the year my partner and I will be creating new content, managing the social learning aspect of the project and promoting it like crazy.

MathFour.com will continue as a foundation of robust and helpful content, free from outside advertisements.

I will find “competitors.”

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of student math programs in existence: on the web, software-based, speakers, books, workbooks, kits, summer camps, tutoring companies…

There are also many websites, books and programs to help adults with math.

MathFour.com is not one of these. MathFour.com is for parents. Not adult students. It’s for parents who are uncomfortable with math. It’s also for parents who are comfortable with math – because even engineers who are parents sometimes use negative math-talk!

The goal is not to turn grown-ups into lovers of math. It’s to increase the effectiveness of parents who are trying to positively influence their children in math.

The research indicates that student math programs could be much more effective if students’ adult influences in math were positive.

by familymwr | Flickr.com | CC BY
by familymwr | Flickr.com | CC BY

Parents need to know that. And I can’t get the word out alone. The world is large and this is a global problem. I need to find websites and organizations with a similar mission.

I will help.

I will solicit questions from parents and teachers so I can be sure MathFour.com is the resource they need. It’s not helpful if I’m not helping.

So here’s my first solicitation: As a parent, what would you like to see MathFour.com do for you this year? If you are a mathematician and/or math teacher, how can I help you and the parents of your students?

Please let me know in the comments.



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10 Responses to 2012 MathFour Manifesto

    • Well, not really. But if you’re interested, I could do a webinar teaching you how to teach math.

      Let me know – that could be cool!

  1. Bon, in all honesty you were not a very pleasant human being in the last year, hopefully you will change for the better and be more polite in 2012. Happy new year. Cheers.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tom. I have to say, though, that I’m not really sure where I was unpleasant or impolite.

      Of course the person who is unpleasant is usually unaware of it (I’ve seen it before in others). If you could help me out and share where you’ve seen this I’ll be happy to examine and do what I can to be more inviting.

      Bon

  2. If the research shows, and the media reports, that students don’t do as well in math and science in our country, you might really have hit on a raw nerve…could it be that we the parents are much of the problem? Parents need training too, and this might be the breakthrough we need to turn the tide. Imagine if our graduating high schoolers clambered to concentrate their university studies on math and the sciences?

    • Imagine indeed! I was just telling someone the other day that all kids should choose their professions with these words:

      “Yeah, I could be a mathematician, but there are so many of them. I know it’s fun and easy, but I think I’ll try my hand at being a __________.”

      Thanks for your comments, MaryFran!

  3. Thanks for this post, Bon.

    It has inspired me to be more focussed in my own website and business. All the very best with your endeavours in 2012!

    P.S. Oh, and I am not related to Tom Price!

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