Traditionally, mathematics has been taught as a series of isolated subskills, with the emphasis on the product rather than on the problem-solving process. Many students have emerged from such instruction with memorized formulas in their minds but not at their fingertips. Real mathematics, however, is not so cut-and-dried. The practice of mathematics is not merely plugging numbers into an algorithm or a calculator to find a solution, nor is it just a subject in school or a set of rules to memorize. Mathematics is thinking and reasoning, solving problems, making connections, and being able to communicate ideas mathematically.
Stacey J. Hellwig is interested in the role of language in learning mathematics.
Monroe teaches undergraduate and graduate mathematics education courses and is interested in the relationship between mathematics and language. Jacobs is interested in the role of children's literature in the elementary grades and teaches courses in that area.