Sunday, February 13, 2011

The problem with "Everyday Mathematics"

We've lived with Everyday Mathematics through the last six years of my son's primary school education.

It's a lousy way to teach arithmetic and basic symbol manipulation to the non-mathematically gifted. This means it's a lousy way to teach, since the mathematically gifted would be better off playing with Mathematica.

The interesting question is what makes it lousy. I've wondered about that intermittently, and I think I've got the answer.

The problem with Everyday Math is that it asks too much of the math teacher. Most math teachers are just a bit about average (yes, I'm mathematically gifted); Everyday Math requires a 75th percentile teacher to really work. So it fails.

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