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Monday, July 28, 2014

Math Education... It's Not Just About Math Content

Jason Rosenhouse posted a great piece last Friday (in his usual succinct style), "Americans and Math," (in response to a NY Times piece that got lots of coverage):


I'm sorry I didn't see more attention given to Jason's post because I think he touches on several points others leave out of the debate over American math education and "innumeracy." He tries to account for why changing math education is so difficult and always has been, including "why it is so difficult to change the habits of math teachers." And he includes some nice examples along the way, as well.

He notes that two of the "big elephants" getting ignored in the debate are the effects of 1) class size and limitations in school resources, and 2) widespread poor respect/support for the teaching profession in general.

In short, the Common Core debate (and Rosenhouse admits he doesn't know a lot of the specifics about Common Core) isn't a simple argument over the best approach to teaching math, but inevitably entails a lot of other variables that ought be part of the discussion.

I encourage all with a stake in this ongoing debate to read Jason's take.

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