Math Education CBC Cross-Country Checkup (Follow-up)

This is a follow-up to this post.  The full two-hour radio episode  can be downloaded here.

First off, a bit of a funny story. The high school math teacher interviewed by Rex in the podcast happens to be my cooperating teacher!! I had no idea this was going to be the case when I blogged about the show last week.  In fact, I didn’t know about it until today when some teachers were talking about the episode at work, however, I hadn’t listened to the episode yet. I actually didn’t plan to listen to it until next week when I had more time, but after learning that my co-operating teacher was interviewed, I took the time to listen to it today.

The show was a bit repetitive but I got through it. Right now, I don’t want to wade into the debate around best pedagogical practices, but one thing that comes across to me is that math education is a passionate topic.  For many, perhaps most people, it’s a reminder of personal anxiety and failure, and helplessness with their own struggling children.

I’m starting to think the debate about standard algorithms versus concepts might be a sideshow to the real question, which is how do you reduce anxiety surrounding math and still teach it? The answer I and everyone else doesn’t want to hear, but might be unavoidable, is that math is a brutally unforgiving subject, and that’s just the way it is.


About James C.

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