Rexburg Geeks has a nice post on math education in schools these days. Actually its not so nice because it’s a bit scarry if your a parent and and you’re concerned with whether your kid is going to grow up to be the head and not the tail in tomorrow’s economy.
Their post is around a video from Youtube entitled “Math Education: An Inconvient Truth”. I’ve inserted the video here, too.
ZDNet Education blogger Christopher Dawson has a related post entitled Is it too late to turn around math/science ed in the US? Dawson’s comments were precipitated upon reading The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Friedman, which calls into question the US’ ability to compete in the future against nations like China and India which emphasize engineering and technology education much more than US school systems.
Dawson goes on to consider the usual suspects: low pay for qualified math and science educators and teaching to tests that emphasize skillsets that are a mile wide and an inch deep, keeping school kids form acheiving mastery in an area of learning.
I’m inclined to think that its more the first cause than the last, and another: we don’t track students. We teach to all levels in a classroom, slowing down the swift and leaving the slow behind. I’ve never been a fan of tracking students by ability, but it seems like we need to address it as a possible solution. Perhaps we can experiment in a school district somewhere and see what happens. I’m curious what others are thinking.