Mxsmanic <email@example.com> wrote in <a href="news://firstname.lastname@example.org:">news://email@example.com:</a>
> Mitch Harris writes: > > > It's too slow to be practical, IMO. Having each child learn by > reinventing mathematics is very inefficient. And few children will have > the interest to follow through. Some will also lack the intelligence > (it takes much more intelligence to discover an algorithm than it does > to simply use it). >
That is so very true. Currently, I am working with a 5th grade math class using an investigative approach to learn math as part of my fellowship.
For the students who pick up on it, it is a great strategy. Those students actually become much better at math. They really do understand the broad concepts. However, these are also the students who excelled with the "old- fashioned" approach (as I call it).
Then there are many more students who would much rather have me just tell them an algorithm they can blindly apply to each problem. These are the students who do not care whether they learn math or not. Their main concern is scoring high on the test. And part of this goal is pressure put on by other teachers and the district.
And then there are the few students in the class who if they can remember how to add from one day to the next (and this is in fifth grade), I almost weep with joy. And yet I still have to review single digit subtraction with these students, every single day.
-- Timothy M. Brauch NSF Fellow Department of Mathematics University of Louisville