Saturday, March 29, 2008

WBUR & NPR's On Point : The End of the Math Wars?

WBUR & NPR's On Point : The End of the Math Wars?
For 20-odd years, mathematicians, parents, and teachers have been arguing over the best way to teach your children math. Well, a national panel formed by President Bush two years ago has just issued its findings, and is pushing schools to go back to the basics — memorization, multiplication tables, and less so-called "fuzzy math."

This hour, On Point: we ask experts if it all adds up -- and with their help, we do your kids' math homework.
  • John Hechinger, education reporter for The Wall Street Journal
  • Mary Eich, a former math teacher, she is the K-8 math coordinator for the Newton, Massachusetts, public schools
  • Wilfried Schmid, professor of mathematics at Harvard University and a member of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, which recently released its report
  • Joseph Rosenstein, professor of mathematics at Rutgers University and director of the New Jersey Mathematics and Science Education Coalition
Click here to listen.


  1. Amazing! We have a President who can't do basic economics, and NOW we find out what his excuse is: he was taught fuzzy math! Is that what they're saying here? Maybe I missed the point...

  2. Michael's point is well taken.

    My 1+1=2 cents' worth on memorization is this. When did memorization become a form of evil? My daughter's teachers like to distinguish between knowing and understanding. We respectfully leave them to sit and worry about the difference and help our daughter memorize the multiplication tables.

    I'm old school and will die old school. Sometimes a little discipline will take a kid a long way--like into the next grade!

    But Bush wouldn't know that first hand....


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