A stellar review of From stem to stew found on Midwest book review, october 2020 issue, small press bookwatch:

Synopsis: From STEM To STEW: Finally Fixing Math Education By Turning It Upside Down by Marla Weiss presents a detailed plan to replace weak with great math education. The “fix” is found at the intersection of noted psychology, modern technology, and rigorous mathematics.

However, before readers can understand and appreciate the proposal, they need an extensive foundation because they are typically only familiar with their own math education or that of their children. From STEM To STEW covers over a century of such background from hundreds of references (recognized experts and published reports), showing in many instances that little has changed as ideas have recycled.

The topics covered include the importance of quality math for societal wellness and national security, the national test (NAEP), the international tests (TIMSS and PISA), work done by numerous U.S. Presidents, prior reform attempts such as New Math and Common Core, fifty obstacles to finding the “fix”, the use of technology in math education, learning theories for mathematics, and the features of an ideal math curriculum.

Critique: Expertly written, deftly organized, and thoroughly ‘user friendly’ in presentation, From STEM To STEW: Finally Fixing Math Education By Turning It Upside Down will prove to be an inherently interesting, thoughtful and thought-provoking read by both aspiring and practicing math teachers, making it unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.

Editorial Note: Marla Weiss is a mathematics educator and writer with four degrees: BA Mathematics, MA Applied Mathematics, ME Applied Mathematics, and PhD Mathematics Education. She has done classroom teaching, school consulting, test preparation, individual tutoring, curriculum design, teacher workshops, math-team coaching, materials development, student evaluations, and math-series analysis. She has taught in various settings including Duke University’s Talent Identification Program and her own education center. Through her business MAVA Books and Education Company, she has written MAVA Math workbooks that offer individualized pacing, plentiful practice, clutter-free pages, and customized sequencing. At the elementary and middle school levels, these workbooks feature number sense (mental math), cumulative review, problem solving, and in-depth topics. The material in her workbooks is ideal not only to supplement classroom learning but also to prepare math competitors. In addition to her math workbooks, Dr. Weiss has published two novels (debut and sequel) about a passionate math teacher, a Logo computer programming text and its solution book, and a nonfiction book about fixing the problems with math education. More books are forthcoming.




The author’s father (standing left) is seen with Max Beberman (standing right and pointing), founder and leader of the University of Illinois Committee on School Mathematics (UICSM) , one of the leading Sputnik New Math groups. The photo was taken at the University of Illinois in the late 1950s.