The US math students are lagging behind their peers in developed countries. The poor math results are traditional by now, and the voices for change are growing louder among academics. The last time that math pedagogy went through a major change was in the 50s. Back then, the US government proposed teaching programs to form a new generation of rocket scientists. The government thought that would help the nation win the Cold War. Since then, there haven’t been any significant improvements in the way we are taught math in school. Yet, the changes in the world during the last decade have made it clear that something needs to be done.
In this article, we are going to inspect what needs to change in math teaching. Also, what changes are introduced, and how it all affects the children and the quality of education they receive in schools.
Kids can read more about math problems thanks to the internet
Nowadays, education is not as challenging as it once was. Students can find research materials easier, thanks to the advent of the internet. The collaboration between academic institutions is also simplified. Also, numerous software solutions make both learning and teaching easier. The online world is abundant in sources that offer solutions to calculus limits problems that kids can’t deal with on their own. Some platforms provide interactive math problem-solving experiences. Google alone is enough to provide students with enough learning materials in the comfort of their homes.
Students are not the only ones that benefit from the digital revolution. The teachers can also enjoy the perks of the seamless information flow we have today. There are many ways that teachers can use digital tools to create a better learning experience for children. This is important for those students who have learning disabilities. Many software solutions make it easier for teachers to approach students in need and teach them properly.
California proposes new guidelines for public schools
Every eight years, math teachers gather around to decide the State Teaching Framework. The goal is to improve the quality of education and put necessary changes in place. In 2019, educators met to create the latest math agenda. Proposed changes created a fiery debate in public schools and among the general population. The guidelines are not obligatory but there’s a concern that school boards would put in place this new framework unequally.
Some of the most notable changes include refraining from labeling certain students as “gifted”. This measure is promoted as a way to make everyone feel equal, however. Parents and many teachers feel that this is an extreme measure that holds back naturally talented students. The California state proposal calls for the implementation of practical math instruction. This means focusing on inclusion and dealing with problems such as housing or ecological issues. For those that disagree with this proposal, the main argument is that it sounds much more like “dumbing down” math.
De-emphasizing calculus creates issues with college enrolment
For years now, calculus achievements have been the gateway to college enrollment for many public-school students. California guidelines propose introducing data science courses in high schools instead of calculus. Some teachers feel that data science allows students to prepare for modern-day challenges. and careers in fields such as engineering, technology, or science.
The creators of the new framework state that calculus is a strong barrier. It’s a stumbling block for Black and Latino students, apparently, and should not be necessary for students to enter a STEM field in college. It seems more appropriate to work on improving the quality of teaching than to reduce college requirements. This way, the schools would avoid sending kids to college without a proper level of knowledge.
The world is changing around us at a rapid pace, and we all need to get on board with these changes. Math is the universal language that explains the universe to us, and it’s of utmost importance to provide the best level of education to our students. Thanks to digital solutions, math courses are getting modernized.
However, teachers and school administrations have to recognize modern-day requirements for successful careers and future academic achievements. This is why teachers, students, parents, and legislators need to work together. Joined, they could improve education in a meaningful way. Only that provides equal learning opportunities for everyone.