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Why Do Americans Stink At Math

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Post By Downtoearth On Sept 8 2014 1: 4: 24 Gmt

Why do Competition Math?
said:G has all sorts of school related issues but i have to say, EDM has been great for her. i think the visualization of math makes it easier for her to understand rather than rote memorization.i do wish we as a society would embrace the fact that not every kid learns one way. if we would invest in education to the point where we’d have teachers and cirriculum that would allow for visual learners AND conceptual learners we’d be WAY ahead of the game.This would involve class size, and that is untouchable. Administrations will not even glance at the issue.Hey, I look at it all the time! Dammit!

Stop Splitting Up Students So Much And Dont Hasten The Curriculum

Over the years, some schools have sought to raise math achievement by pushing algebra down to eighth grade. High-flying students may adapt and have room to take more advanced high school classes. Hastening the curriculum can widen the gulf in achievement between lower-performing students, including those who are economically disadvantaged and racial minorities.

The practice reflects a long-standing feature of American math education: As early as middle school, students are often split into “tracks” in ways that predetermine who will take advanced classes in high school. The advanced classes are often full of students who are white or Asian and attend suburban schools while black and Latino students continue to be underrepresented, research shows.

About six years ago, San Franciscos school leaders sought to tackle the problem. They halted teaching algebra I in eighth grade. Students take the same three-year sequence of math courses in middle school, and everyone is enrolled in mixed-ability classrooms, said Lizzy Hull Barnes, math supervisor at the San Francisco Unified School District.

In high school, all students take ninth grade algebra and 10th grade geometry. After that, students can choose their path: Some may pick algebra II, others may choose a course combining algebra II and pre-calculus. Some may accelerate to AP statistics.

Its been a seismic shift, Barnes said.

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Six Myths In The New York Times Math Article By Elizabeth Green

The July 27, 2014 edition of the New York Times Sunday Magazine featured an article by Elizabeth Green entitled Why Do Americans Stink at Math? In this blog post, I identify six myths promulgated in that article. Let me be clear at the outset. I am an admirer of Elizabeth Greens journalism and am sympathetic to the idea that improving teaching would raise American math achievement. But this article is completely off base. Its most glaring mistake is giving the impression that a particular approach to mathematics instructionreferred to over the past half-century as progressive, constructivist, discovery, or inquiry-basedis the answer to improving mathematics learning in the U.S. That belief is not supported by evidence.

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My Experience At Mcdonald’s School

football games that would embrace the zesty flavored hot dogs, and the beautiful cheerleaders. They also think of the tasty school lunches that would make your nostrils flare with desire, and possibly maybe the cute guy that you accidently sat by each math class. Though, this seems ideal, my high school experience wasnt quite that pleasant. High school was very difficult for me. My complications began with my full time job at McDonalds that took effect on my school work. Than, proceeded with my family

The Great Gatsby And Death Of A Salesman

Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

selfish people, the greedy individuals, and the uneasy thoughts brought among us. Well, the three excerpts The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, and Death of a Salesman could interpret this. The three excerpts have been shown to be a base for the American Dream, or basic Alienation, but to look deeper into the source at hand and their distinct features the clear status of showing the reader how corrupt society can be. The way these three novels have set the stages for corruption and it ‘s ongoing

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The False Starts Of Overhauling Math Education

Why are Americans lagging in math achievement? The answer has everything to do with our inability to translate our groundbreaking ideas about how to optimally teach math into actual classroom instruction. To clearly illustrate the disconnect between our ideals and our practices regarding math education, The New York Times introduces us to Akihiko Takahashi.

Akihiko Takahashi is one of the most revered math educators in Japan. His mentor, Takeshi Matsuyama, was an elementary school teacher who, unlike many of Takahashis elementary school teachers, boldly implemented cutting edge classroom exercises that got students thinking critically and inventively about the principles, patterns and relationships that constitute mathematics. Instead of memorizing formulas for the area and perimeter of a square, for example, students of Matsuyama would derive the formula for the area of a rectangle by engaging in passionate discussions that leveraged what they already knew about geometrical properties. Like the very first mathematicians, Matsuyamas students had to harness the mathematical principles theyd already discovered in order to discover new properties and relationships.

Do Americans Really Stink At Math

In his article, Americans stink at math but we can fix that, Professor Hung-Hsi Wu argues that math education is failing in the US due to the lack of clear and concise textbooks and a vacuum of teacher knowledge of how to teach math.

I respectfully disagree with professor Hung-Hsi Wu. I think that what he sees as the cause of poor math education is in fact a practically inevitable consequence of an admirable choice that the United States made: to embrace all its children, from mathematically gifted to not academically oriented at all, from poor immigrants without any prior knowledge of english or math to prosperous young American citizens.

Having observed various American schools, it is clear that teaching children to accept and respect each other, to be able to work together successfully and to enjoy it is THE priority, the main goal in American education, especially in elementary and middle school.

This is why, I believe, children of all levels of knowledge and abilities are almost always in the same classroom, and why children almost never repeat a grade.

The following constraints, I believe, are necessary to teaching math well, in a way that both inspires students and develops their knowledge and understanding properly:

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Myth #: Factors Outside School Are Unimportant To Japanese Math Success

What are those other factors? Green dismisses cultural differences or the contribution of instruction outside school to Japanese math achievement. This is puzzling. There is no discussion of Japanese parents drilling children in math at home or of the popularity of Kumon centers that focus on basic skills. And juku gets not a single mention in Greens article. Juku, commonly known as cram school, is the private, after-school instruction that most Japanese students receive, especially during middle school as they prepare for high school entrance exams. Jukus are famous for focusing on basic skills, drill and practice, and memorization. Japanese public schools have the luxury of off-loading these instructional burdens to jukus.

An alternative hypothesis to Greens story is this: perhaps because of jukus Japanese teachers can take their students fluency with mathematical procedures for granted and focus lessons on problem solving and conceptual understanding. American teachers, on the other hand, must teach procedural fluency or it is not taught at all.

Myth #: Japan Scores Higher Than The Us On Math Tests Because Japanese Teachers Teach Differently

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Green provides no evidence that instructional differences are at the heart of American and Japanese achievement differences. Indeed, she provides no evidence, other than the assertions of advocates of the teaching practices extolled in the article, that Japanese teachers changed their instructional practices in the 1990s, or that American teachers did not change theirs, or that any change that occurred in math instruction in either country had an impact on student achievement.

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Our Failure To Translate Ideas Into Practice

According to the New York Times article, America has been attempting to revolutionize the teaching of math since the 1800s. For centuries, reformers have been innovating groundbreaking techniques to cultivate critical thinking and problem solving and for centuries, these big movements falter from mass confusion and mass unwillingness to stray from the norms.

We are currently in the throes of one of these big pushes as across the country, states implement the Common Core. The Common Core is a set of academic standards that was designed to supplant states individual curriculums and hold students across the nation to a common standard. Educators and politicians from 48 states coalesced to write the standard in 2009. The Obama administration adopted the standard and made its implementation a prerequisite for receiving a portion of the $4 billion in Race to the Top grants. Today, 43 states have adopted the standard.

Responding to a recent survey by Education Week, teachers said they had typically spent fewer than four days in Common Core training, and that included training for the language-arts standards as well as the math standards.

Weve provided teachers with a slightly different curriculum but we havent empowered them to teach that curriculum differently, meaning that we are once again repeating this cycle of generating wonderfully idealistic changes to the curriculum without providing the infrastructure to actually realize these changes.

Why Americans Stink At Math New York Times Magazine this not which

Interesting piece. One quibble – “the Japanese”? How about “our colleagues in Japan”?!! Please don’t feel the need to approve this comment, but I do think you might reword that last paragraph =]

I agree with Mr. Poissant. It would take much more time than we have to teach math by expecting students to reinvent the wheel at eMoreover, I and nearly everyone I know hated small group work as yet another waste of time I suspect their enduring popularity stems from the fact that they give teachers a much needed break, but that’s hardly a good reason.

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You cannot leave your bed. Youve forgotten how to move. Your vision is blurred but beautifully kaleidoscopic, like the vision of a spider or an ant. Everyone around you operates with a bewildering sense of purpose that seems to bring them a strange and shallow pleasure. Breakfast time becomes lunch time becomes dinner time, and by then youre barely hungry. You should call your mother, but you doubt shed like to hear from you now .

Post By Joenali On Sept 8 : 1: 07 Gmt

Why Do Americans Stink at Math?
said:They do learn the old way. But kids have to learn by starting with concrete, pictorial and abstract. For example, let’s say they are learning addition and the teacher might use real cookies, once they understand with the real cookies, they use drawings if cookies and then numbers that represent the cookies . You can’t skip right to abstract, you’ll lose quite a few kids if you do. I don’t understand how what you are saying is responsive to what I am saying. I’m disagreeing with you that children with processing disorders should learn the old way.
said:I’m disagreeing with you that children with processing disorders should learn the old way.I think you don’t understand what I mean by the old way. I mean that this movement towards understanding math as a game of ten-sets doesn’t make sense for them. So, it is better for them to memorize some basic computations and rules. Trying to do 12-3= 10 – 2 – 3 will just confuse and frustrate them and shut them off. It is my understanding and has been my experience that under both the old math and the new math the approach is still concrete, pictorial, abstract. I haven’t seen that progression change at all. You teach those mental math strategies using c, p and a. But I do agree that there still has to be memorization of basic facts within 20.

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Make High School Math Reflect Real Life

Beyond data science, some districts design courses that include more real-world math and topics such as financial algebra and mathematical modeling.

The approach has led other countries to success. Teens in the Netherlands post some of the strongest math scores in the world on the PISA assessment. That’s largely because the exam prioritizes the application of mathematical concepts to real-life situations, and the Dutch teach math rooted in reality and relevant to society.

Some longtime Dutch math experts were involved in the design of PISA, which began in 2000 and is given every three years to a sample of 15-year-old students in developed countries and economies.

At Sweetwater High School in Chula Vista, California, math teacher Melody Morris teaches a new 12th grade course that explores topics such as two-player games, graph theory, sequences and series and cryptography. The course, called Discrete Math, was developed through a partnership with San Diego State University.

In one exercise, Morris teaches students to play a capture-the-flag style game featured on the television show “Survivor.” They learn that by using math, they can win every time.

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Their typical response is: This is math? Morris said. They think its about playing games and having fun. But what theyre really learning is how to break down large problems into small ones and how to make hypotheses and test them.

Change The Way Elementary Teachers Think About Math

Improving the math aptitude of older students in the USA is connected to messages students hear about why math is important and who’s good at it when they’re younger.

Those messages often come from their elementary school teachers, many of whom didnt like math as students themselves.

“Math phobia is real. Math anxiety is real,” said DeAnn Huinker, a professor of mathematics education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who teaches future elementary and middle school teachers.

New research suggests that when teachers improve their attitude toward math, it can help to raise student test scores. At Stanford, Boaler and her team designed an online course for teachers featuring research showing anyone can learn math with enough practice, intelligence isnt fixed and math is connected to all sorts of everyday activities.

They recruited fifth grade teachers from a county in central California to take and discuss the course. Within a year, the participating teachers’ students posted significantly higher state math scores compared with previous years. The jumps were particularly significant for girls and low-income students, Boaler said.

They thought they had to teach procedures, and then realized they could teach in this open, visual, creative way,” Boaler said. “A lot of research studies suggest that it takes a long time for changes to come about. In this one, it was quick.

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The Need For Better Teacher Preparation

Research shows that Japanese students initiated the method for solving a problem in 40% of the lessons Americans initiated this method 9% of the time. Similarly, 96% of American students work fell into the category of practice, while Japanese students spent only 41% of their time practicing. Almost half of Japanese students time was spent doing work that the researchers termed invent/think. American students spent less than 1% of their time on it.

Why is it that Japan is so far ahead? Teachers. In Japan, teachers benefit from jugyokenkyu, which translates literally as lesson study. Teachers are provided with ample time to experiment with new teaching techniques and to exchange tips. They sit in on each others lessons and provide fruitful critiques. Too, in Japan, the teaching profession is held in much higher esteem than it is here at home.

To cure our innumeracy and empower problem solving skills, we must confront the fact that the traditional way of teaching math does not work. It is mind-numbingly rote and only succeeds at teaching students how to find answers, not how to think critically. The task of math education is to get students to see math not as a list of rules but as a way of seeing the world.

Too, we must provide more effective and thorough training for our teachers.

Post By Lulu13 On Sept 8 201: 0: 19 Gmt

Why do they suck at Maths? I Funny and ignorant Americans (E53)
said:Also, I seriously side-eye people that are all “I’m an accountant and I don’t understand the new math.” That’s because the damn worksheets that come home don’t always come with good directions. If you weren’t in class and weren’t taught that way, you won’t know how to fill in the blanks. It’s new vocabulary. You can’t fault an accountant mom for not knowing the latest 2nd grade Pearson trademarked name for something that was called adding.Investigations is the worst for this, but the other one that bugs me is the Saxon Adaptations worksheets. It’s supposed to help kids who have difficulty copying problems from a textbook to figure on blank paper with an answer column by giving them a worksheet of half filled in problems to complete. The regular Saxon for K-3 is great for take home. The homework is on the back of an identical sheet that was done in class and corrected by the teacher that students and parents can refer to.Sorry, I wasn’t clear. They typically say it in a “well, I use math in my job and I don’t understand this whole thing so it must be total hogwash” sort of way, not a “I’m a reasonably intelligent person and can’t make heads or tails of this since there aren’t any directions” way. FTR, I never taught math much so I’m really coming at this from a parent perspective and a someone-who-is-passionate-about-education perspective. I am not a math expert by any means, I just want my kid to be able to truly understand math, not just regurgitate some math facts.

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