Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Common Core Math vs Algorithm Man

In response to a post from respected colleague regarding common core math (note: she is a skilled practicing teacher with real world experience), I responded:

Thanks for the input from the front lines. I always listen to actual practitioners much more than to theorists. However, I must note that similar confusion attached to New Math thirty years ago. New Math was also supposed to replace mindless algorithms with understanding. It failed to accomplish this noble goal (no sarcasm intended) and we went back to algorithms. Now I have difficulty helping my great grandson with his first grade math homework.

I will make a prediction. Common Core Math will face the same fate as New Math for the same reason, not all of us are born with a natural talent for mathematics. Some of us, many of us, NEED mindless algorithms just as some of us are tone deaf and cannot benefit from music theory.

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