No more excuses

I suppose the title has two meanings for this blog. First, a link to an article about a study that indicates we have an inate mathematical senese. Yahoo has posted a summary on the front page, I'll scour the UB library for the original. What I got out the article is that the burden many people carry around - I'm just not good at math (or maths, according to the British authors) is a lame excuse. Apparently, little kids who do not have an understanding of numbers are able to solve math problems. Very encouraging news for math(s) instruction.

On the other hand, no more excuses applies to this blog. Theresa recently recommitted herself to blogging and she makes several good points. On my morning commute - from the bedroom to my office down the hall, I was thinking about the idea of positing. Who is our audience? Is it you? Whoever you are? Or is this akin to a journal that may or may be left open on the dinning room table? Is this the epitome of self-indulgence or a means of reinventing public discourse? At this particular moment for me, it doesn't matter. I'm happy to wander the terrain that is educational research and topics and engage in Grand Rounds with whomever may wander by.

In any case, I'm still eager to discuss educational research and topics with others and so I put forth this question: Does math instruction as it currently exist "beat" the math knowledge out of students or does it enhance it? Or is it something else? Do share, kind stranger.


Theresa G said...

First - let me say that I would like THIS blog, hopefully a product of community between Jenn and I - to invite and encourage others who do what we do to participate. My dream: to see five or six names as authors, each sharing different viewpoints.

Second - I am not good at math! But I am logical. My reading of the summary said to me that kids are good problem solvers, not necessarily innate mathematicians. Proof of this - a Math A sample test that include a permutation!! I don't recall ever learning that in my high school math courses - but I got the correct answer by using test taking skills and logic. Can't wait to read the full article (unless it includes math!)

Karen said...

While I could have told them this. Just like Theresa said, I too am not a math person, however, I can figure out most math problems. I may not do it like they (the test makers) want, but I logically break it apart until I have the "approximate maths solution" I am a problem solver, as the children in this article were. My issue with what is expected of our students now is sometimes I think the are expected to produce answer to abstract concepts that they might not be developmentally ready for. Hopefully, the teachers recognize their approximate answers as their ability level and scaffold them to where the "State" wants them to be.