Lou's suspicion may well be accurate for many folks. There seems to me to be a somewhat feverish devotion to improving test scores & improving students' standing with respect to students in other jurisdictions. I sometimes wonder if any researcher has looked into the topics in math that students find interesting - with an intent to develop a curriculum based on such topics. And it may not only be the topics that are of interest - but also the approach taken in addressing them.
On 11/5/2012 11:48 AM, Louis Talman wrote: > Nothing, that is, except for a societal predilection to think that > mathematics is too much effort for too little value. > > I suspect that that predilection is probably as important as any flaws > in curriculum in explaining why so many students do so poorly at > mathematics. > > On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 12:36 PM, Robert Hansen <firstname.lastname@example.org > <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote: > > I've certainly thought of this before. Weighing heavily against > this suggestion is the sheer size of my sample. If what you say is > possible, and considering that students are socially promoted, we > would have seen some evidence. I mean, nothing stops a student > from not getting arithmetic and then going on to be successful > with algebra. I started the study looking for such anomalies. > > Bob Hansen > > On Nov 2, 2012, at 2:06 AM, Louis Talman <firstname.lastname@example.org > <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote: > > > Your "natural progression" completely ignores a significant > possibility: The primacy of arithmetic is simply an artifact of a > curriculum that denies entry to those who haven't acquired > proficiency at arithmetic. > > > -- > --Louis A. Talman > Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences > Metropolitan State College of Denver > > <http://rowdy.mscd.edu/%7Etalmanl>