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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

But Enough About American Education…

 It can get tiring to read the constant debate, tirades, criticism of American math education, and so in a misery-loves-company sort of way, it was almost refreshing to read this piece on the travails (even "death spiral") the Australian math education system is going through:

"There is a famous and fascinating paradox of movie-making: the French are funny, sex is funny and comedy is funny, but somehow French sex comedies are never funny. Which brings us to the topic of Australian maths education."
How's that for a lead line! Much of the discussion sounds familiar… except perhaps even harsher!
With this toward the end:
"The simple truth is, the major stumbling block for mathematics education in Australia is that teachers, qualified or not, don't learn enough mathematics and they don't learn it well enough. Discussion of anything else is pointless until that problem is resolved. And the second simple truth is that education faculties are so divorced from the study of mathematics, so lacking in understanding and appreciation of mathematics, they can play no meaningful role in fixing the problem except by getting out of the way."
And then from Canada there's this posting of a math teacher:

Wow... it's almost enough to make one feel like we in America must, by comparison, be doing something right (...I said, almost).

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