Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NSF EHR damages mathematics learning in USA

Here is perhaps a reason that 320 teachers from University Place, Fife and Peninsula school districts need a $535,000 grant to learn how to teach fractions, decimals, and percents.

May 7, 2002
Wilfried Schmid
Professor of Mathematics
Harvard University



In contrast, EHR has pushed faddish, unbalanced mathematics education programs. My daughter's school uses what is possibly the most extreme of these, "Investigations in Number, Data, and Space". EHR got this K-5 curriculum started with an initial $7,000,000 grant to the authors. Subsequent grants were given to local school systems, encouraging them to adopt "Investigations". In this brief message I cannot describe all the defects of "Investigations". Let me mention only that the authors strictly oppose the teaching of all standard algorithms, such as long addition, and discourage memorization of basic number facts, e.g., memorization of the multiplication table. Instead, students are made dependent on calculators and mental crutches, including fraction strips and counting on fingers.

A thought from a cyber-visitor

Dr. Bergeson made it so financially attractive to follow her methods of madness, that greedy districts like mine and Spokane couldn't/wouldn' t resist. She never forced our district to choose Core+, she just made them really, really want to. If the traditional/ authentic Math publishers had the money that the NSF Math publishers had, perhaps the incentives would be there for all districts to choose the Math that focused on content.

No comments: