Math Curriculum Makeover

Here are some positions arguing for drastic change in what we are teaching in math, or even if we should be teaching it at all:

These opinions are quite radical.  I have the knives out on Bennett’s argument (Algebra is “higher math”? Really? How do you even begin to learn math without algebra? I digress, this is a post for another time.) I’m more of a fence-sitter on Wolfram and Garfunkel&Mumford’s arguments. I do acknowledge that they raise some good points, and perhaps Bennett does too, even if I disagree with most of what he said.

Overall, I like the current Nova Scotia curriculum and the soon to be adopted WNCP standard, but that’s not to say I think it’s perfect or that I’m not open to change. Here are some questions I’m thinking about right now (and not just about the curriculum content, but how I plan to teach it):

  1. Is it preparing the students for the next step in their careers, whatever that may be?
  2. Is it developing essential or at least useful life skills?
  3. Is it helping students make connections with other subjects?
  4. Is it developing intrinsic motivation and encouraging lifelong learning?
  5. Is it progressive?
  6. Is it age and maturity-level appropriate?
  7. Is it efficient, or are there better ways of achieving the same results?

Anything else to add to that list or related articles to share?

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About James C.

A pre-service teacher about to start his first teaching practicum.
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