As I indicated in my last post I am puzzled by those who feel that there is no room in mathematic teaching for standard algorithms and ÃÂpage-of-twenty-problemsÃÂ to be used along side the constructivist methods. One of the problems I see in the word problem ÃÂonlyÃÂ method is that a student does not experience a large number of permutations of solving multiplication and division problems. Nor does the student experience the pure conceptual side of mathematic (i.e. division of fractions).
I agree word problems put a context to math learning, and are very important, but how many time have we seen the student getting the word problem correct from a problem solving standpoint but their computation was wrong because they were weak on their fact (basics). What happens to the kids who get it right away and become bored with the slow pace of pure constructivism? Might we bring back the dreaded ÃÂhomogeneous classroomÃÂ?
In leaving the flashcards and ÃÂdrill & killÃÂ to parents, teachers abdicated their responsibility for the computation side of the students understanding. This can produce uneven understanding among the entire class because individual parents each with different sets of priorities, skill & commitment levels and cannot always be consistent in their support for their childÃÂs education.