This story from an Ottawa area high school is one example, albeit an extreme one, of the consequences of unrestrained discovery math teaching:
Math class doesn't add up - Ottawa Sun
Welcome to the website of MathRight, an informal coalition of concerned parents, educators and members of the public. Our goal is to improve mathematics education in Ontario's schools.
Throughout Canada, concern has been growing for some time about the quality of mathematics education in schools. Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that students are not achieving their full potential in mathematics. Recent changes in the curriculum have de-emphasized algorithms, factual learning and structured approaches in favour of a "discovery" approach.
We feel that a balanced approach in which children are given a reliable toolset of facts, algorithms and processes together with an understanding of why and how they work is best. Emphasizing one at the expense of the other can only diminish the quality of math education, and does not serve all students well.
MathRight is a non-partisan, non-political coalition of people from many walks of life and from all parts of Ontario. Please join us:
- Follow some of the links below to learn more about the issues
- Share your experiences and those of your children
- Join us and help us build a movement so that we can influence policy makers and work with teachers and school boards to give our children the best possible math education.
Contact the administrator, clive.packer (at) gmail.com if you wish more information or to join us.
MathRight has been largely inspired by and owes a debt of gratitude to the work of WISEMath.org. Please visit their site which contains a wealth of material.
The College Math Project studies the math skills of college entrants and the potential societal and economic impacts of declining achievement in math.
Macleans magazine published an excellent article on the state of math education here. Parentcentral.ca covered the issue here.
The Ontario Math Curriculum can be downloaded here in .pdf format.
If you'd like to join the effort to improve math education in Ontario, and you're in sympathy with the concerns and objectives described here, please leave us a comment with your contact details.
You can comment on any recent post.
We'll keep you informed of events and happenings. If you have something to contribute and want to become involved, please let us know. The greater our numbers, the more we can influence things.