Canadian Consulting Engineer

How will the children become engineers?

The cover story, "Have you finished your homework, mom?" by Cynthia Reynolds, in Maclean's magazine, March 19, 2012, describes growing opposition to the new alternative methods of teaching mathematics to children in schools using conceptual...

March 16, 2012   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The cover story, “Have you finished your homework, mom?” by Cynthia Reynolds, in Maclean’s magazine, March 19, 2012, describes growing opposition to the new alternative methods of teaching mathematics to children in schools using conceptual approaches such as grids, blocks, or strips of paper to multiply.

The Anna Stokke quoted in the article is a professor of mathematics at the University of Winnipeg, as is her husband, and both find their daughters’ math homework confusing and difficult.
The article ends, as follows:
“Back in Winnipeg, this domino effect is one of Anna Stokke’s biggest concerns. If they don’t know their math facts, she says, they won’t be able to do fractions, which means they won’t be able to handle algebra, which means calculus is out, which means they can’t be engineers, doctors, pharmacists, economists, programmers, or any discipline that requires math, including skilled tradeswork. But one thing they can become? Teachers, who can go through the system with minimal math training and arrive in class expected to inspire children to create and conceptualize their own mathematical knowledge — and relying on a new set of parents to fill the gap. ‘This is a never-ending cycle of innumeracy,” says Stokke. “And we have an obligation to speak up for the kids.”
Click here to read the article.

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