Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

An Inconvenient Truth In Math Education: A Very Viral Video

CJ Westerberg, January 5, 2011 7:00 AM

BlackboardTeal.jpg

Math Wars: 3.0
The Top Viral Video 


--And It Ain't a Pretty Picture For"New Math"  aka Everyday or Terc Math--


With national standards in Math being introduced this week, we thought it might make sense to show one of the top videos (it's not new-new, but message works)  in the Math war saga since the teachers AND knowing which Math program/approach to teach with is more important than the standards themselves. 

Why not start with this video to get the conversation going . . . what has been your experience with the different Math programs, as a teacher, parent or student?  What have you heard?

Link here for the exclusive Four Part Series for The Daily Riff by Scarsdale teache,r Bill Jackson,  titled "Singapore Math Demystified!,"

See video below. (15 min)

Previously Published The Daily Riff 2/24/10

                                                                                                             






 


  • Cathy Buyrn

    I have seen these new methods offered to students as options. Some choose to use them and some don't. What is wrong with providing students with options?

    It is a powerful thing to sit and listen to a student articlulate his or her preference for a certain method based on an understanding of his or her own learning needs.

    I haven't seen anyone eliminate traditional methods as options.

    Why should students' options be limited to those methods preferred by adults?

  • FMA

    These math methods are unnecessarily complicated. It is no wonder that I see middle school kids who count on their fingers to solve simple arithmetic problems. I've been wondering for a while why so many kids I know struggle to do even the most basic math problems. This video really explains the problem.

    Are these math methods used anywhere outside k-12 education? I know a lot of math and engineering college professors strongly disapprove of these programs. I doubt they are used in most colleges or workplaces that require math skills. Are we teaching students something that is essentially useless after high school?

  • Cecilia Villabona

    Why does everyone think that they can "fix" mathematics education? This charming meteorologist probably has never spend time understanding pedagogy, methods of learning, how the brain works, and so many other things that teachers have to learn. Worst still, she does not see the connections to higher mathematics, and the problem solving skills that may turn out to be more usefull to mathematics education, since simple calculators are now everywhere, number sense is only one of the many skills missing from our children. Ouch! She is really cute, but why don't we get a video of how wheather forecasting is at times pretty wrong, despite the fact that it is a lot simpler than he human mind.

  • eliz

    I have been previewing math programs as our school is needing to select a program for future years. Particularly I have been leaning about the Singapore math materials and method. There is a good deal of developing number sense, decomposing and recombining numbers, mental calculation, and alternate ways to solve computation problems in Singapore Math. In what ways is it different from the programs described?

  • Glen

    "I would trust a critique by a math professor or mathematician far more than one by a meteorologist."

    As a professional creator of mathematical models and a father of a child subjected to this Everyday Math nonsense, I wholeheartedly agree with the video.

    "It is painfully obvious that the speaker in the video knows very little about math or how mathematicians think."

    Is that right? Well, someone is painfully uninformed about how mathematicians think, and if you think it's us, why don't you explain it to these guys. They're 200 math and physics professors, including several Nobel Prize winners, from Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton, dozens of major universities, and they aren't happy about Reform Math programs such as Everyday Math. Why don't you e-mail them and set them straight "about math and how mathematicians really think"?:

    http://mathematicallycorrect.com/riley.htm



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