Monday, December 21, 2009

A New Math: Do we really need to memorize the quadratic formula??

Years ago, mathematician and songster Tom Lehrer, parodied the vagaries of the so-called New Math, a well meaning, but largely ineffectual attempt to move math from drill and kill to understand the pinions better:

Many good extras have been added to the math curriculum over the years. Among them is project-based learning in which solving a real world problem motivates the mathematical tools needed to solve it.

After teaching and pondering for many years, I have come to the conclusion that the entire K-12 math curriculum needs a thorough inspection and overhaul. Much of what's there is no longer relevant, if it ever was, especially given the tools we have today.

More to come as soon as I can better think through how to present this call to action. In the meantime, all suggestions are welcome!