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You can't make this stuff up...

A long time ago, Tom Lehrer wrote a song (one of my favorites) entitled "New Math."  The lead in banter on the album includes the comment "In the new approach... the important thing is to understand what you're doing, rather than to get the right answer."

This morning I read an AP article about criticisms of the Common Core curriculum (which I am so far VERY unimpressed by...)  It included this quote: "Part of what we are trying to teach children is to become problem solvers and thinkers," said Diane Briars, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  "We want students to understand what they're doing, not just get the right answer."

I was going to follow up with a snide comment, but I think I'll just let that stand.

Holy crap.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 16th, 2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
um, yeah
Glad I wasn't the only one recalling that song.

"Hooray for new math, new-uh-hoo math.
It won't do any good for you to re-view math
It's so simple...so very simple...
That only a child can do it!"
May. 17th, 2014 01:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah...alongside his actual reasons, no wonder Lehrer hasn't put out new songs in 50+ years - his old ones are still current.
May. 17th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah. It's sad that "Send the Marines" is applicable pretty much any day of any year.

"until someone we LIKE can be elected..."
May. 17th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
The scary thing is I've seen what some of the common core stuff they're putting out looks like. It's ridiculous. I don't see how making 36 minus 12 into a 15 step problem is aiding comprehension. Then again, I was never a math person.
May. 17th, 2014 08:31 pm (UTC)
Part of the problem is also that they need someone versed in *writing* to help with the problems. I tried some of them - and got them wrong because they were SO poorly written that you were guessing at what they wanted.

Luckily, daddy can help with the math itself, and I'll teach her how to ask the question that you actually want the answer for.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )