Saturday, March 20, 2010
Last week Peter Gray wrote - When Less is More: The Case for Teaching Less Math in Schools.
It was an interesting piece and worth a few minutes of your time. I won't summarize it beyond saying that someone did an experiment decades ago where they delayed teaching math until 6th grade. It turns out, that within a year of normal math instruction, these students had caught up to their peers who'd been studying math since kindergarten.
This evidence supports the tack of the Sudbury Valley School. There I believe the head honcho teaches all of K-12 math to his willing pupils within a matter of weeks - when they are 15-17 years of age.
But I fear that the *case for teaching less math in schools* could easily be misinterpreted. Just because age-graded, government schools, as they are currently staffed and run, do a poor job of imparting mathematical knowledge....that doesn't mean the subject ought to be eliminated or de-emphasized. If anything, it's more evidence that government schools shouldn't have ANY students under their care in the first place!
I do agree that the K-12 math curriculum is so small that it can be digested rather easily. AND, I've just about proved it - with my 5.28 year old son going from *counting* to 7th grade *algebra* in only about 1.5 years.
Next they'll be saying, "Because an inept Big Government can't get drugs off the streets....we ought to just legalize them."
Sudbury Valley Empriricism
Book Rec - Withdrawn!