More thoughts about Maths (and Grammar and Science) from Nebby – please click on her links to other articles, they are very interesting 🙂
Have you seen any of the many articles coming out lately on algebra and whether our kids really need to learn it? It started with a New York Times op-ed by Andrew Hacker saying that it was not necessary for most of to learn higher math (algebra and beyond). Of course this set off a storm of counter-articles and counter-counter-articles.
Hacker’s basic argument is two-fold: 1) algebra is too hard and leads otherwise decent students to drop out or underachieve and 2) most of us don’t need those kinds of math skills. The main counter argument (see this Washington Post article by Daniel Willingham) seems to be that even if the specific skills aren’t used, higher math is still valuable for how they teach people to reason and think. Willingham contends that “the mathematics learned in school, even if seldom applied directly, makes students better able to learn new…
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