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Q&A #963

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Chicago Math program

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From: Loyd <loydlin@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2002112618:00:59
Subject: Re: Chicago Math has Failed my two Daughters;my thoughts

I enjoyed reading your article.  I tend to agree with you on much of
what you said.  

I was one of those who did well in arithmetic but when I moved to
another state, for some reason, they thought I had algebra but I
didn't.  So they put me in geometry, trig, solid geometry and then I
went into the service and served stateside all during the Korean war.

I have always been interested in mathematics after reading "The Cruise
of the Snark." by Jack London.  I wanted in the worst way to build a
sail boat and sail around the world. My mathematics interest came
about because I knew I would have to learn Mathematics.  

To sum up, I went on the to major in Math and found it rather easy. 
Graduated with honors.  

I learned algebra before going to college by checking out all the
algebra books in the Seattle public schools and working the examples. 
I found that one book's example was another books problem.  That way,
I was able to solve word problems as well and still can.  

I usually see through most problems when the educators come up with
another or new method.  I learned a lot of that material in Number
Theory Courses.  Now, I notice that the material I didn't get until I
went to college and sometimes graduated school, is now being taught in
some middle schools.  I think premature learning is a waste of time. I
learned much of my math, because I didn't know the reason and figured
it out myself.  T

To close, I think the current large algebra books are too dense.  They
need to get down to a core of material and teach that.  Some of the
other material is not necessary unless the student wishes to advance
in the field of mathematics, engineering etc. For example, I learned
matrix theory in an abstract Linear Algebra Course.  They now teach
that in an elementry way in algebra I and II.   

Next thing you know, we will be teaching Fourier Transforms in high
school and the books will get bigger.  The students are learning more,
but not learning it as well. 

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