I’ve now read the New York Times Magazine article called “Why Do Americans Stink at Math?” twice. The whole article is terrific. I’ll pull two excerpts below:
In her classroom, she replaced “I, We, You” with a structure you might call “You, Y’all, We.” Rather than starting each lesson by introducing the main idea to be learned that day, she assigned a single “problem of the day,” designed to let students struggle toward it — first on their own (You), then in peer groups (Y’all) and finally as a whole class (We).
To cure our innumeracy, we will have to accept that the traditional approach we take to teaching math — the one that can be mind-numbing, but also comfortingly familiar — does not work. We will have to come to see math not as a list of rules to be memorized but as a way of looking at the world that really makes sense.
I love that these ideas – long held by me and many math teachers I know – are finding their way into the mainstream. It’s important that math teachers who are dreading the Common Core transition read this article. It’s equally important that everyone outside the math education world also read the article, so that everyone from parents to politicians can actually have informed discussions about Common Core instead of the nonsense that’s going on now.