Friday, September 22, 2006

Even more on math

Ken de Rosa of the education blog D-Ed Reckoning keeps the heat on the topic of math, honing on on what he calls "another NCTM backpedals story" from the Chicago Tribune (registration required).

As you'll remember, the US-based National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM) ignited a fire storm of controversy in the math world (that's a hilarious visual image!) by issuing its new guidelines on teaching math to children last week. Those guidelines call for a back-to-basics approach that's a big shift away from the "concept-based" math of the past 17 years.

Lattice multiplication? Russian peasant method? Humbug, says de Rosa. These are all ways to compensate for students' lack of quick recall of their multiplication tables, he says. (My personal favorite: the "finger method" for multiplying by 9s. It's hard to look cool in calculus when you're holding up both hands with digits spread wide....)

Check out de Rosa's argument. He's a great writer (but even a worse speller than me!). What do you think about the "math wars"?


At 9:45 AM, Blogger KDeRosa said...

He's a great writer (but even a worse speller than me!)

It's not so much spelling but a combination of not having time/wanting to proof read (I have a secretary that does this for me for everything else) and not being a good touch typist (I zone rather than look at the screen). The result is typos.

If you wait a day or two, I'll usually have a reason to have gone back and re-read the post and spot the typos (and cringe). Then I will correct most of them.

It's speed vs. accuracy. I'm going with speed, until I find an editor.

Keep up the good work over here.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Cheryl van Tilburg said...

Ha ha ha! I stand corrected on your spelling skills. You're lucky then, both in terms of the secretary -- and your ability to catch your own typos!

Thanks for the kind words. You keep up the good work too...

At 1:59 AM, Blogger KDeRosa said...

I don't mean to imply that I don't also catch real spelling mistakes too. Plenty of those.


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