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Topic: reform textbooks
Replies: 2   Last Post: Aug 28, 2000 10:13 AM

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Guy Brandenburg

Posts: 714
Registered: 12/3/04
reform textbooks
Posted: Aug 28, 2000 9:12 AM
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It would be a good idea if people who subscribe to this list actually
looked at Math In Context, Connected Math, and all of the other reform
textbook initiatives for themselves and decided what they thought about
them for themselves, rather than listening simply to the fanatics rail
against them in a predicatble knee-jerk manner. These reform textbooks
actually do have some very good ideas. They are not perfect, of course
-- no textbooks are, even those from Singapore or from the US before
Sputnik!! -- but they do hold some promise for actually inspiring some
of our less-than-stellarly-performing American youngsters to take math
seriously and to see its practical usefulness for a change.

Remember: most adults I meet will gladly tell me that "Math was my worst
subject" or "I always hated math." And these are adults who took either
pre-sputnik math or poorly-implemented new math or back-to-basics math.
None of them in any way were infected by the evil rampant virus of
new-new math; so we don't really know what the results will be of
"new-new math" if done properly. It is easy to teach ANY math in a very
poor manner; that has been done for many, many generations. Anybody with
no educational background at all can do it with ease.

Somehow, some of the most fanatical fundamentalist back-to-basics
pro-voucher anti-reform anti-NCTM types in California seem to attribute
all of the ills of current math understanding levels in California to
"rainforest math"; it couldn't be that the tax-limitation proposition of
about 20 years ago so messed up the budgets for the California public
schools that they went from being just about the best in the country to
the worst? Naah.

Guy Brandenburg

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