Skip to comments.“Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth” Reaches 1,000,000 Views
Posted on 04/20/2012 4:27:02 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
Heres some good news. M. J. McDermotts wonderful video about why Americans dont know math has exceeded 1,000,000 views.
This is one of the best videos about education on the web. If you havent viewed it, please do. Running time is about 15 minutes.
In this video, McDermott explains the flaws in so-called Reform Math, which was introduced to the country around 1985. Reform Math actually consists of more than a dozen separate but basically identical curricula. As fast as a community figures out that one of these things is bad, the so-called experts introduce another. These experts are diabolically clever.
Point is, there are good ways to teach any subject. And there are awkward, incoherent, inefficient ways to teach any subject. Reform Math incorporates all the bad ways to teach math. The predictable result is that few American children become good at math (which in turn undercuts science).
I had noticed the same inefficiency in the field of reading. The McDermott video confirmed for me that this tendency could be found all across the educational spectrum. The closer you look at any of the popular educational fads, the more youre likely to notice that the foolish thing doesnt work at all as claimed; in fact, its probably counterproductive. Here Im thinking of Whole Word, Constructivism, Self-esteem, Cooperative Learning, Multiculturalism, Learning Styles, Prior Knowledge, and many more.
Im afraid the Education Establishment is going to repackage all the bad ideas in Reform Math under the name Common Core Curriculum.
(My article 36: The Assault on Math discusses parallels between math and reading. http://www.improve-education.org/id60.html )
|· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·|
|Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·|
McDermott explains the flaws in so-called Reform Math, which was introduced to the country around 1985. Reform Math actually consists of more than a dozen separate but basically identical curricula. As fast as a community figures out that one of these things is bad, the so-called experts introduce another. These experts are diabolically clever. Point is, there are good ways to teach any subject. And there are awkward, incoherent, inefficient ways to teach any subject. Reform Math incorporates all the bad ways to teach math. The predictable result is that few American children become good at math (which in turn undercuts science).Thanks BruceDeitrickPrice.
Bozo? Who are you referring to?
and if you don’t think any of that is deliberate...why just take a gander at Wall St....
I was referring to the Bozo on the video who thinks arithmetic is mathematics. I have degrees in Mathematics and I never once took a course in multiplication to obtain these degrees.
I do agree that kids should be taught how to multiply without calculators, but this isn't mathematics. People who do not know the difference are dangerous, IMHO.
The mathematics curricula where I went to high school in the 1970s was severely lacking. I had to take dumbbell math at San Diego State....
Kids who get screwed up on arithmetic will never learn more advanced topics, just as kids who don't learn to read (by non-use of phonics) will not likely gain much appreciation of literature.
Plus, in common usage, arithmetic is part of math.
I graduated before this new math came in and I still can’t do algebra.
Common people misunderstand lots of things and usually vote for Democrats.
When I went to school, the texts we used for the first six years were titled Growth in Arithmetic I-VI respectively
The math I took in high school was so advanced that I knew the first 3 math courses I took for my Chemical Engineering major. I also got a 800 in my Math SAT. The only problem was that I did not do high school here, I did it in Dubai. The school there was hell academically, had 4 scheduled quizzes and 3 exams weekly and that really kept you on your toes. It was a school that catered to foreigners living there.
Mathematics in just a general term to most people. She probably should have said arithmetic. I’m sure she knows the difference. Isn’t one of the programs called “Everyday Math”? I remember seeing the video a couple of years ago, and I think one of the programs she spoke about was called “Everyday Math.” Maybe it should have been called “Everyday Arithmetic.”
The video is a wake up call to parents whose kids are saddled with half-assed math (arithmetic) programs foisted on them by gullible school administrators and school board members who want to look “cutting edge,” much like the failed whole language reading courses.
If I were a public school kid to today, I’d jump off the roof of my school. I don’t know how kids put up with the garbage they put up with today, and I don’t know how parents put up with it, either, although I think a lot of them are waking up — but that’s a different story.
Anyhow, my brother and his wife (who is a science teacher) pulled my niece out of her public school and put her in a Catholic school because they realized that the new math (arithmetic) program the public school chose was an absolute horror and would just confuse the children, and it did. It confused students, parents, and even the teachers whose job it was to teach it. The school bought this pig in a poke program and math (arithmetic) scores plummeted, and since they signed on to this program, they couldn’t get rid of it easily, so for years and years, the scores were horrible.
I don’t know if they ever got rid of it, but I do know that a lot of savvy parents pulled their kids out of the public school and sent their children elsewhere, where they flourished and now have wonderful jobs and wonderful lives because they were spared this nightmare of a math (arithmetic) program.
What was your score on the writing section?
They tend to be somewhat arrogant about their vocation.
They tend to be somewhat arrogant about their vocation."
And I think people who get so worked up over dictionary minutiae are dangerous.
Take a knee before you strain something.
My cousin is a newly-minted middle school teacher “back East”. He’s in his second year of teaching after working for and being RIF’ed from Ford about 8 years ago. He was an engineer.
He teaches 7th grade. He told me the other day that over 60% of his students have no concept whatsoever of how to use a ruler to measure something.
I think that is the new format. I did it under the older format of just Math and English, but I got a 680.
I did a lot of homeschooling and not just my own kids. I realized around 1986 or a bit later when trying to teach some girls around 7th or 8th grade level math that the books purposely were twisting it so the kids could not possibly learn it. I was amazed; it was clear it was being mis-taught on purpose.
How many would admit the following:
” I graduated before this new Whole Word Reading came in and I still can't read”!
Hm?...How many would admit to the above? None? Why is it that people are not the least bit embarrassed about a mathematics deficiency?
Sure. Democracy, Republic. WTF.
Same here I couldn’t do an algebra equation in the past and I have a degree. I finally decided to do something about it and at age 53 I’m taking elementary algebra at my local community college. We are almost finished for the semester, a few classes and the final and that’s it.
My class started with 28 students all ages. We are down to 12 and I know that 3 maybe 4 will fail unless they get scores in the 90s on the final. My best guess is 7 will complete the class with a passing grade.
The instructor is “old school” we are not allowed to use calculators at all. He will say, and this is true that we are doing high school level work and that he wants us to understand fully what we are doing.
For me, I’m a self professed “math retard” but I’m happy to say that I’m in solid B territory and expecting to move on to intermediate algebra in the summer session then college algebra in the fall. I don’t blame anyone but myself for my lack of math skills and I intend to learn this subject at all costs.
Did you happen to catch the grade level DA!
I, too, am a 7th grade Math teacher. I “inherit” students EVERY YEAR who do NOT know the multiplication facts and cannot add/subtract/multiply/divide whole numbers and decimals and do NOT know anything about fractions!! AND, they cannot THINK!! There is NO “number sense”! Yet, I am required by the “course of study” to teach curricula FAR BEYOND their capability... To say the least, I find this situation discouraging. However, I DO THE BEST I CAN. Would these students would accept personal responsibility AND DO THE WORK ASSIGNED THEM... But, oh no, parents assert “IT IS MY FAULT”. I am called a “liar” because “little Johnny” told his parents he did turn in his late work (the second and even third copy) to me (HE DID NOT), and although I offered other opportunities out of regular class time for extra help, HE NEVER SHOWED UP...
These children are a product of our “entitlement” society -YOU OWE ME...
What a messed-up U.S. of A. we have allowed to be created...
A few years ago I saw one of my friends kids doing the lattice method from Everyday Math. The first thing I said was that it looked like the old Napier's bones method of multiplication.
Everyday Math just seems to hang onto inefficient methods instead of using them as a stepping stone to the efficient ways of solving larger problems. Terc on the other hand looks like a nightmare meant to keep kids from learning and understanding.
I believe that textbook manufacturers and authors must shuffle the teaching method to promote new sales of books. How much have
math arithmetic and introductory reading actually changed in the past two centuries? You can't have schools thinking they can just order a new set of the previous books when the old ones wear out.< /s>
PS as a smart ass I would give one answer the Terc problem of showing two ways of solving 36 ÷ 6 = ? as
10log(36) - log(6) = 6.
This video is very true - math instruction, especially at the elementary level, is horrible. “Reform Math” basically teaches kids to stack and sort blocks but expressly excludes teaching them any arithmetic - the ones the are mathematically inclined eventually figure things out for themselves but most kids are left with no skill at arithmetic and a pure hatred of the subject. They are not ready to move to algebra in middle school because they don’t have the basics down. Those that can afford it send their kids to private school or to Sylvan or Huntingdon (or homeschool), but the kids left in public schools without private tutoring are mostly not ready for college level courses in math, science or engineering. They probably make good “community organizers” though......it’s almost as if there was a plot to disable America’s technical excellence.
I think it’s become worse since then, but it was never anything to brag about. Even during the 1950’s, people were voicing concerns about the low qulity of public education. The book “Why Johnny Can’t Read” was published in 1955.
Arithmetic is a part of Mathematics. How is talking about arithmetic NOT talking about Mathematics.
It's like saying talking about derivatives is NOT talking about Calculus.
You’re right, there’s something about deficiency in Math that people aren’t afraid to admit to. One possible reason could be that people don’t need to do Algebra on a daily basis, while reading is essential for everyday life.
Good for you, I would also check out Khanacademy online. You can test yourself on Math equations. This assumes, of course, that you don’t need credits in Math.
I was circulating the link when the video had fewer than 50k views....
“Im afraid the Education Establishment is going to repackage all the bad ideas in Reform Math under the name Common Core Curriculum.”
Of course they will. They did the same thing with whole language. In this case, the teachers who teach math don’t know any more about math than I know about origami. They couldn’t teach Saxon or Singapore math if their lives depended on it. You can’t improve math education in government schools without firing the existing teachers and hiring hundreds of thousands of new, competent math teachers who don’t exist.
If you want to see what is expected in Japan, take a look at the factorization problems in Kumon Level J 55-60.
What you write is often very perceptive and helpful, but when are you going to stop with the school reform nonsense?
Yes. I discovered this when tutoring an 8th grader. It wasn't just clumsy - it was diabolically designed to utterly confuse and deny understanding. Whoever the people are who created it, bought it and administer it, are evil.
RE: “He teaches 7th grade. He told me the other day that over 60% of his students have no concept whatsoever of how to use a ruler to measure something.”
Thanks for this wonderful comment. Says everything.
You simply cannot have this low level of education unless the people in charge are deliberately, carefully, methodically aiming for dumb and dumber.
Well, I didn’t think it was such a wonderful comment as much as it was appalling. I mean, he tells me stories (he’s on the other side of the US) and I just go bananas. He must have the patience of a dozen saints, because the stuff he tells me just blows my mind.
I am not sure the bureaucracies involved are aiming for dumber and dumber per se; they could, if you think about it, be very well meaning in terms of the children but part of a very “extractive” triumverate of teachers, textbook vendors, and administrators who are obsessively concerned about keeping themselves employed and changing curricula every 2 years so that the booksellers get huge orders for new books and methods. I am sure teachers work pretty hard, in general, and if they get the type of students my cousin gets, they must go absolutely batty now and again. I couldn’t retain my sanity in that environment.
He claims he failed 40% of his students last year, and I asked him if he thought that this would place his hard-won job in jeopardy. He really did work to become a teacher and I wouldn’t want him to get booted. But he said he checked with his administrators if such a failure rate was “OK” and they said “so be it”. He offers to tutor the kids after school, they make appointments and don’t show up. They get 2-3 chances to turn in HW assignments, promise to do so, then fail to turn them in. I don’t think there is a design or grand conspiracy to make them dumb, yet I definitely acknowledge that the entire system has precisely that
effect on most of them.
60+% can’t use a ruler? He could tell you 150 more stories.
Thanks for posting.
Neil Boortz interviewed a guy who wrote a book that told about dumbing down American students on purpose, to be good little worker bees for the government, who could be easily entertained so that they wouldn’t cause problems by learning to reason and question the powers that be.
Does anyone know the name of that book?
Algebra is about solving relationships of variables in equations. One must have a knowledge of logical methods of arranging terms and equating identities. a calculator is of little use for this task. Being handicapped by being denied a calculator is nothing to brag about. A calculator is of little use for algebra.
I have taken some ‘routine’ math courses as well as advanced math courses while getting an engineering degree. I have always thought of my ‘arithmetic’ learning as part of my ‘math’ learning, something like baby talk and learning the English/language/grammar.
Exactly! Your description is so exact. And not just make it so kids can’t understand math, but so they can’t think at all, and can’t trust their own wits and reason.
I taught many kids to read and totally gave up on readers, I made my own reading books and vocabulary etc. I taught many kids to read using my own stuff. Mostly phonetics. And I”m a high school dropout...
Good for you!
Without paper, I can’t, provided the numbers are large enough. It wasn’t expected of us to take Math in 11th or 12th grade in my high school. Outrageous, I know, although that was 25+ years ago.
What I described in post #46 was second to seventh grade arithmetic.
Without a solid understanding of these principles algebra would be impossible. Fractions, specifically, are a large part of algebra, although letters, instead of numerals, are used to represent quantities.
Honestly, because you have missed out on the basics, whole swaths of the economy are closed to you. Many, many opportunities for engaging, interesting, highly creative, and often, highly paying work are solidly shut against you. With a little effort, some time at the community college, and some payment of tuition this could be completely overcome.
And...You really might surprised yourself how smart you really are in mathematics.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.