‘The Elephant in the Classroom’ Review & Giveaway

I’ve been reading something a little different this week, the newly updated The Elephant in the Classroom, by Jo Boaler…

The Elephant in the Classroom


The Elephant in the Classroom provides a wide range of free online educational resources, classroom approaches and strategies for teachers looking to inspire their pupils, while advising parents on how to help children enjoy maths and methods that will help schools to improve the quality of their teaching. Jo Boaler calls for a learning revolution in how mathematics is not only taught but perceived.

The Elephant in the Classroom is an indispensable guide and resource for parents, teachers and educationalists, which enthuses as well as teaches.

Jo Boaler is Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University and was recently chosen by the BBC as one of the eight people ‘whose ideas are challenging the future of education’.


The first and biggest thing that this book did for me was dispel the myth, and I confess my long-held belief that some people can do maths, some people can’t. I’d always been of the opinion, that maths is one of those subjects at school that you either get or you don’t, as some people are wired for it differently. I did like maths at school and did well at it, so I was just hoping that my kids would both have a similar aptitude for it, making their lives easier at school.

Having now read The Elephant in the Classroom, I’m thinking very differently.

The book takes us through lots of powerful examples of how mathematics is taught around the world, along with including the rather poor statistics of where the UK stands within that. It’s interesting to read about how very differently the subject is approached in different countries, and indeed within the UK. It has given me an insight into what a more engaging classroom would look like, and how much more involved and inviting maths can be. For me, there was a little more maths dotted throughout the book than I’d like (I know, a book about maths featuring maths, who knew?!), but it didn’t detract in any way from my understanding and interest in reading on, so I see this as being quite subjective, as others may well appreciate the problems outlined to better explain the maths in question.

As a parent reading this, as well as giving me a greater appreciation for the subject and plenty of food for thought, it has also given me practical tips and suggestions on how to support my children in their learning. The ideas will integrate well into every day life and are fun activities, some that we already do, others that we will now try.

I think to sum up, 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.

I do have one copy of the book up for grabs now, so to be in with a chance of winning it, please enter using the rafflecopter below. The competition closes at 12am 15th October 2015 and is open to UK entrants only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What interests you about this book?

The Elephant in the Classroom is available now, from Souvenir Press.

Disclosure: I received this book FOC for the purposes of this post

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66 thoughts on “‘The Elephant in the Classroom’ Review & Giveaway”

  1. Maths, and how to learn using a variety of methods. As we are all individual learners. Good to be up to date and able to assist and encourage children with Maths.

  2. I’m also of the belief that some people can do maths, some people can’t! Would love this book to dispel that myth for me too!

  3. practical tips and suggestions on how to support my children in their learning would be helpful. I’m not good at maths.

  4. I’m starting as a Teach First teacher this September so would love this book to learn some more techniques to help kids learn maths successfully, especially as it was something I hated when I was at school.

  5. Lots of different ways we can support our kids in their learning that we might not otherwise know about 🙂

  6. As a child I hated Maths and found it was such a struggle. I don’t want my grandchildren to have to suffer – this would help make maths more understandable and much more fun.

  7. I have a 3 year old daughter that I want to encourage to enjoy math. I’ve also been a teacher and currently work in a nursery, so I’ve always been interested in encouraging children to challenge themselves and not give up.

  8. I like the fact that this book delves into the subject of maths and how important it is for children to grasp it.

  9. One of my sons is in the top 3 of his class for Maths, the other really struggles so hopefully this book will give me some good ideas to help him 🙂

  10. As I expect to supplement my son’s teaching, this looks like a really useful resource to have at my fingertips

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