Friday, 29 May 2015

Why I won’t go to that meeting

The meeting I'm referring to is 
Albert Math and Education Forum: Restoring Excellence and Evidence-Based Teaching in the K-12 Curriculum
which is being held today in Edmonton Alberta.

I imagine I have a decade or two left. My time is somewhat precious to me. I’m an evolutionist and I consider it a gross waste of my time to attend a forum organized by young earth creationists. Because, education-wise, that’s what you are, you back-to-basics people. You’re young earth creationists. Or flat earthers. 

In the last few decades, there have been tremendous advances made in understanding how children learn mathematics. The research is still at the beginning, but it is getting results. And if we mathematicians don’t acknowledge it, the Faculties of Education will soon take over teaching math to preservice teachers, just like Psychology and Economics departments now teach Elementary Statistics and Introductory Game Theory.

Don’t take this rant to mean that I’m against direct instruction — I’m not. But I’m all for teaching being informed by research on how kids learn. It’s inevitable that it is going to transform how we teach mathematics. 

I recommend that you read this post by Keith Devlin about how teaching math has changed.

I also wrote a bit about the harm being caused by forums like these some time ago. 

But if you’re a Young Earther, I suspect you will just dismiss these as irrelevant.

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