At Extreme Wisdom, I got to see a video telling about some math books that are apparently very popular in many public schools. It’s such a good video, I’m putting it in this post. If you have about 15 minutes, see what you think:
My take on the video is that it’s very hard for public schools (or any schools) to get it right. As you know, I complain that my kids get the math algorithms without understanding what they’re about. That is, they don’t understand that what they’re doing matters, and they don’t envision the concrete realities under these abstract applications. However, it’s obviously not any better to give kids a vague idea as to what math is all about, without helping them to an easy, efficient way to put that knowledge to use. I still like the Montessori method, which gives the child a hands on way to envision math (it makes the abstract very concrete for young minds), and then, once the child understands what’s happening, teaches the algorithm. It’s the best of both worlds.