
Re: Math Wars Philosophizing in the NY Times
Posted:
Jun 20, 2013 11:57 AM



On Jun 20, 2013, at 10:49 AM, Joe Niederberger <niederberger@comcast.net> wrote:
> So  the old methods didn't work, the new ones do (can we assume proved BASOAD?). > End of argument. Why need ya say more?
Devlin is out of touch. Actually, so is the author of the NY times piece as well. They tried doing away with arithmetic and the algorithms in the 90's and it failed badly. Arithmetic is back in fashion, at least the teaching of it in elementary school, including drills and times tables. I just wish they would use it in context more. In other words, spend more time using this budding fluency with word problems and less time with conceptualization. The same goes with fractions. They spend enough time teaching them but then don't then use them. The fluency wilts.
As I teach, I continue to incorporate these new skills. For example, I don't ask my son what is 1/2 of 1/3. I ask him what is 1/3 in 32nds. I am not griping too much about his school curriculum, but I am glad that I don't have to leave it at just that.
Bob Hansen

