
Common Core snippet a little distressing
Posted:
Jul 13, 2013 7:16 PM


My mind focused on this sentence in the Common Core Standards: "For example, we define 5^1/3 to be the cube root of 5 because we want (5^1/3)^3 = 5^(1/3)3 to hold, so (51/3)3 must equal 5. "We want" and "must equal" seem like rather coercive terms for a scholarly subject like math. Or is this math teaching, so students are fair game for coercive language and tactics? I find it very hard to make sense of this statement. It goes against the grain of my approach to exponents, in which I explore with the student possible interpretations for the use of negative numbers, fractions, zero, and 1, as exponents, based on the properties of/operations with positive integral exponents greater than one.

