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  • George Garza

    May 20, 2019 at 4:06 am

    Thanks for your response Shawn.  I wholeheartedly agree that there are better methods of teaching math.  I guess what I’m trying to do is explore what kids should get from math class.  We know it’s not algorithms, and equations.  So what is it, and why is math the right vehicle for the job?

    Teaching for understanding still implies that the end goal, the skills that students should take away from all their math experience is the math itself.  As was discussed prior, computers do all that now.  Okay, we’ve got students that understand how and why to manipulate an algebraic expression, but what does that get them unless they go into a STEM field?  Why would someone that wants to be a plumber care about absolute value, even if they fully understand what it is and what it means?

    I truly believe that how we answer the question “Why teach math to everybody in 2019?” Will determine how our classes should be run, what time should be focused on, and what pedagogies we subscribe to.

    You comment about about looking at what mathematicians and problem solvers would do gets closer I think, but what is it about mathematicians that people should emulate?  Same for problem solvers.

    To be clear, I’m just trying to discover the answer to this question, not be argumentative.

    So again, I ask, why teach math in 2019?


    On a side note, I get why it’s called “Stand and Deliver” teaching, but I hate that that’s also the name of a moviei about a great math teacher who almost definitely didn’t just do “stand and deliver” teaching.  I’ve got a lot of respect for what Jaime Escalante was able to accomplish.