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:
- Siol Garfunkel & David Mumford – How To Fix Our Math Education
- Conrad Wolfram – Teaching kids real math with computers
- John Bennett – Why Math Instruction is Unnecessary
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):
- Is it preparing the students for the next step in their careers, whatever that may be?
- Is it developing essential or at least useful life skills?
- Is it helping students make connections with other subjects?
- Is it developing intrinsic motivation and encouraging lifelong learning?
- Is it progressive?
- Is it age and maturity-level appropriate?
- 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?