And now for something a little different Yeah I’m growing tired of complaining about fault-tolerant haters too
This article in the New York Times highlights concerns about math education here in the great state of Washington. Money quote:
In part, the math wars have grown out of a struggle between professional mathematicians, who say too many American students never master basic math skills, and math educators, who say children who construct their own problem-solving strategies retain their math skills better than those who just memorize the algorithm that produces the correct answer.
Which of course is silly. Mastery of basic math skills AND construction of their own problem-solving strategies is important for math education. It’s not an OR sort of game. Sadly I think “construction of their own problem-solving strategies” is a proxy for “water down the curriculum” while at the same time “mastery of basic math skills” is proxy for “only accepting answers done by the accepted algorithm.” Both are anoying as heck.
In related news, extremely long time readers of this blog are familiar with the WIT: the Washington Institute of Technology. WIT is my dream university which I’m planning on founding once I find the necessary billions of dollars to get it started. Well I’d better hurry up because the beginnings of a movement to build a polytechnic here in Washington: Seattle Times article here.