Sunday, July 15, 2007

Math wars

The title links to a Seattle Times article about the conflict between advocates of "reformed math" education and those of us who think our children need to develop solid computation competency (yes, I have a clear bias). Here's one teacher's summary of "reformed math":

"It makes higher math more accessible to them," said Zandria Hopper, a fifth-grade teacher at Elizabeth Blackwell Elementary School in Sammamish. "They are pressed to justify and reason from kindergarten on."
However, check the article's sidebar, which compares two fifth-grade problems -- one "reformed math" and one traditional. The reformed math problem is 14x9=? The traditional math problem is 492x98=? Which students do you think will get into top-tier universities?

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