Friday, July 1, 2011

The Future of Math Education

I have been watching the news surrounding the Common Core standards. Knowing how much state standards vary and how mobile our society is, I'm all for a common set of standards.

With standards come testing, and testing, in the way it is most often done, isn't helpful or accurate of our students' abilities. It tells us more about the negative--who gets freaked out when they take a test--than it does the positive--what students know and can apply outside the classroom.

Today I saw an article about leading educators who sent a letter to the consortium who is currently drafting ways to assess the Common Core standards. I'm impressed with main message of the letter--don't lock us into yet another unhelpful test. Give us something that reflects the changing face of eduction.

So much of our educational system is based on past constructs that no longer apply to our current world. For example, why do we still have summer vacations when they were originally intended to allow children to help gather crops from the fields? (But...that's a different rant.) The point being, we need to continue to look at the way we have done things in the past and think about their application to the present and the future. If it still works, great? But if it doesn't, it's time for a change.

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