tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5458172893016186479.post7605414313203797639..comments2021-01-04T06:53:55.596-05:00Comments on Thoughts on Education Policy: What Should America Do About Math?Corey Bunje Bowerhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09764159604965707919noreply@blogger.comBlogger2125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5458172893016186479.post-1811911644315548732008-03-16T17:24:00.000-04:002008-03-16T17:24:00.000-04:00Like I said, you are not the only one who feels th...Like I said, you are not the only one who feels that we try to teach too much, too fast here. William Schmidt (from Michigan State) has compared how math is taught in the U.S. and other countries and determined that a major problem is that our curriculum is "a mile wide and an inch deep."<BR/><BR/>That said, what receives very little attention is that the national math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have actually risen quite dramatically over the past decade or two (while reading scores have essentially remained flat). There are certainly some math textbooks that haven't changed much in decades, but there is probably also more innovation in math curricula than there has been in other curricula during that time frame. Since education is so localized in the U.S., the way math is taught varies widely throughout the country.Corey Bunje Bowerhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09764159604965707919noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5458172893016186479.post-78390311796860865012008-03-16T16:20:00.000-04:002008-03-16T16:20:00.000-04:00I have no math background, so perhaps I see things...I have no math background, so perhaps I see things too simplistically. But it seems clear to me, that we should look at how countries who do well in math teach it, and then duplicate their process. <BR/> Articles I've seen indicate we cover too much, too fast. We need students to be adept at a skill before they move on. <BR/> Also, elementary teachers as a rule aren't math experts. We need to have math experts reformulate math textbooks from the earliest grades. My nephew, a high school student math ace, says students he tutors have entirely wrong methods of solving problems. He says sometimes their methods will work for the current problem, but when they advance it won't work anymore. The problem is that their teachers, probably liberal arts majors, don't know that. <BR/> Since we are unlikely to get math experts to teach elementary school teachers (my nephew, the future engineer or economist has NO desire to teach a class of children), we need to give elementary teachers better texts created by math experts, using the methods of successful countries as a model. <BR/> I think the textbook is clearly the key; and if math textbooks are like English textbooks, they have been basically the same for the past 40 years with some cosmetic updating.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com