When Maarit Rossi and Katri Espo met each other around 1990, they both had over a decade of experience working as Math teachers.
They wanted to find new angles and solutions for the problems they were confronting in their math teaching.
- Is the model of teaching math status quo?
- How can we get high learning standards for every student?
- How to increase students learning?
- What to do with your students at different levels of understanding with different learning needs?
- Do you give more tasks or give more time for discovery, in order to arrive at a conceptual understanding of Mathematics?
- Do students need materials with real life meaning to help them connect to the math?
- How do get students to fall in love with math?
Both Maarit and Katri began their common path in the UNESCO’s International Network for Information in Science and Technology Education’s national branch FINISTE. The goal of this group was to develop a broad spectrum of approaches for science and math teaching and activate teachers nationwide to implement them.
They began developing math material, testing it in their classes and colleague’s schools across Finland, all while educating in their own middle school classroom.
One publishing house printed their material onto 9 math text books. Katri, was noticed by the Technology Industry for her work and named the leading Math Teacher in 2007. Maarit was asked to take four years to develop Math and Technology for the Finnish Industry’s organization.
Maarit returned back to the classroom in 1999 taking a position as Principle. She received in Fulbright 2006 in the United States, and met an Assistant Principal in Math, Cecilia Villabona. Cecilia shared how she had been looking for this kind of material for her whole life. Eventually they established a firm, Paths to Math.