DailyDirt: Learning How To Do Math Like A Boss
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Some people claim that they are not “math people” — that their brains just don’t understand mathematics that way “normal” people are supposed to learn it. Perhaps that’s true for some, but the subject of math seems to be taught in a way that tends to weed people out as concepts get more abstract. Educators are trying to figure out how to avoid making math lessons as painful as they might have been in the past (and hopefully not create any further torture with “new math” or even “newer new math”). Here are just a few links on changing the way these skills are taught.
- Math classes are usually taught as a progression of skills, starting with counting, then adding/subtraction, then multiplication/division, then algebra, maybe some geometry/trig, and ending in calculus. However, a growing trend of abolishing this artificial math progression could have toddlers learning calculus concepts — and other “advanced” math topics — in a non-linear order. [url]
- Psychologists see evidence that preschoolers have a natural ability to do basic algebra before they ever sit in a classroom. This ability seems to come from kids’ “Approximate Number System” (ANS) or “number sense” — which allows children to solve simple algebra problems without a systematic logic. Researchers would like to figure out how this number sense breaks down as kids go to school and appear to lose these inherent abilities. [url]
- There’s a trend to try to teach *everyone* how to program, but maybe if we’re really serious about doing that, we should change the way programming is done. Forcing humans to think like computers isn’t going to make programming very popular, so making human-friendly programming languages might be the way to go. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.