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Is School Math preventing true appreciation of Mathematics?

06 March 2014 By In MyPal Blog

is school math preventing

Critical thinking skills and logical reasoning are essential for 21st Century.  Understanding math at a conceptual level can build these skills but our standard math curricula in schools wastes too much time in arithmetic, formulae and practice sums and fails to achieve the higher order thinking skills that can be applied to real world problems.

Edward Frenkel, mathematics professor at UC Berkeley argues that while we still need to teach students multiplication tables, fractions and Euclidean geometry; what if we spent just 20% of class time opening students’ eyes to the power and exquisite harmony of modern math? What if we showed them how these fascinating concepts apply to the real world, how the abstract meets the concrete? This would feed their natural curiosity, motivate them to study more and inspire them to engage math beyond the basic requirements — surely a more efficient way to spend class time than mindless memorization in preparation for standardized tests.

From MyPal’s experience with EMF Math Curriculum, we fully agree with Mathematicians like Edward Frenkel (and Keith Devlin and Paul Lockhart) kids are ready for this. It’s the adults that are hesitant. It’s not their fault, it’s the mindset of Schools, Parents and Teachers.

Read more in this LA Times article http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-adv-frenkel-why-study-math-20140302,0,5177338.story#axzz2uxJyJOSw

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