Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

"A Radical Idea For Changing Math Education"

CJ Westerberg, January 24, 2012 7:58 PM

benjamin.jpg

3-Minute Video Below

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again
expecting different results".
                - Albert Einstein


Arthur Benjamin, aka "Mr. Math", professor of mathematics, magician and author, makes his case against classic math curriculum in high school in this short (3 min.) video below. Via TED:  

"Someone always asks the math teacher, 'Am I going to use calculus in real life?' And for most of us, says Arthur Benjamin, the answer is no. He offers a bold proposal on how to make math education relevant in the digital age."
Related to this line of thinking is questioning the sequencing, context and emphasis of our math education in the U.S.  If you are unfamiliar with the Common Core State Standards Initiative, check out the website which outlines the specific benchmarks of learning as per mission statement:

"The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy."

Here is the link to Math standards with eight standards outlined here to achieve "focus and clarity" with tabs to the six major arenas in the left hand column. Statistics and probability are one of the major areas outlined.  What do you think?   Are we going in the right direction with the standards outlined?  Achievable?

Originally published The Daily Riff February 2010.

3-minute video Below  


Related articles:
 "Stephen Colbert to Mr. Math:  Lies, Damned Lies!

"Financial Literacy:  Making Math Relevant"

"Why Our Kids Don't Get Math"

(Ed. Note:  also see "Visions of Mathematics" An Outline for a Revolutionary Approach to Math Education")

Arthur Benjamin website here.




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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
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