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Math Educators Stack Exchange has been progressing far more rapidly than most proposals ever did, especially in definition and commitment, where each stage usually takes several months (this is probably one reason the public beta has been delayed, to allow people new to the system to become familiarized with the Stack Exchange system).

Even now, the number of users with good reputation is increasing far more swiftly that most new sites, as can be seen by browsing beta sites on area51.

So why is this site so popular?

My answer: The other mathematics sites are already popular, but they are necessarily fragmented by different subject areas. But mathematicians in every subject area can be experts in teaching. And beyond this, elementary and secondary education teachers add an entirely new element of growth to the Stack Exchange network.

There are many more expert math teachers than expert math researchers.

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  • $\begingroup$ One reason, of course, is that this site was able to draw on the existing audience at Math Stack Exchange and Math Overflow. (According to Area 51, 52% of our committers are also active in Math Stack Exchange, and 24% are active in Math Overflow.), Many beta sites have to find their audience from outside the Stack Exchange network, which is a longer and more difficult process. $\endgroup$ – Jim Belk Mar 24 '14 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ Depending on what is meant by expert (see also: meta.matheducators.stackexchange.com/a/179/262) I would be hesitant to conclude that "there are many more expert math teachers than expert math researchers." $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Dickman Mar 26 '14 at 7:19
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I agree with you in having a lot more expert teachers than expert researchers.

I think, a big impact for good teaching is experience: Own experience and advise from colleagues. With this site, every gained a lot more expierience from other people (and also other situations - I don't think that mathematicians at universities do have much contact with mathematics teachers and vice versa.).

I am also looking forward to having more people from mathematical education research here (I think, a few are asking and answering yet). A mixture of experience together with basic educational research is a strong combination to improve everyone's teaching.

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