By Murray Bourne, 31 Jan 2006
The article Go figure - "Everyday Math" shows there's more than one way to solve a problem, but it has parents lost in translation [which is no longer available] demonstrates two things:
- Mathematics education is one extended experiment
- Parents never have a clue what is going on in schools - especially in math
In the approach described, I like:
- the use of manipulatives,
- encouraging alternative approaches and
- emphasis on number
However, from the article, it all seems rather disorganised.
It's called Everyday Math, a reform curriculum developed by the University of Chicago in the 1980s and now used by nearly 3 million students throughout the United States.
One alternative strategy:
For example, a child adding 326 to 575 would first add the hundreds column, then the tens, then the ones, then add up the results, a foreign strategy for many adults.
Students have a lot of difficulty with algebra when they have not mastered basic number skills. And those number skills must be couched in real-life problems.
See the 4 Comments below.