Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Catalyzing Change in High School Math

Math and STEM Ed
It’s been a long time since my last blog, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to comment on the new High School initiative that will be available for sale at the Annual NCTM Meeting in Washington next April.

NCTM has a newly drafted, rather optimistic manifesto for high school math teachers titled Catalyzing Change in HS Math which offers an alternative (Option A) path to what I call the Royal Road to Calculus - 4 years of high school math culminating in a year of Calculus (Option B.) Option A includes statistics and other electives in the last year and half of a student’s high school math experience.

Option B is a given for those students that have the mindset to persevere in math. Jo Boaler in Mathematical Mindsets writes that that doesn’t mean these students will necessarily experience the joy, wonder and beauty that math learning can bring to those who learn math intrinsically.  But these eager beaver students will persevere and get the grades they want. But what did they learn and what will they remember? (1) In option A NCTM proposes 2.5 years on the road to Calculus, then a choice: statistics and/or other electives like quantitative literacy, discrete mathematics, financial mathematics, mathematics in the fine arts, and history of mathematics. I was amazed that STEM pursuits were not included. But that’s not surprising after president Matt Larson claimed in his monthly message that "Math Education Is STEM Education" which I disagree with. See my comments following Matt’s message.

CLIME “After Hours” Meeting in Washington, DC
We will be holding a CLIME get together in Washington to celebrate 30 years of CLIME participation as an affiliate group of NCTM.

Date: April 26, 2008
Time: 7:15-8:15 (right after Shadowcon)
Room: Marquis Salon 14 (Marriott Marquis)

(1) For a good review of Boaler’s Mathematical Mindsets, read Mathematical Mindsets and Easy Fixes by Dylan Kane.