Introducing The New Math: A Paradigm Shift From Tradition

The New Math: If we could simply snap our fingers and alter the way science and math learn in U.S. schools, most of us would. The weaknesses of the current system are obvious. 

Subjects that seem to be alive within the heads of experts turn dead when they are handed to students. It’s not unusual for students studying Algebra 2 ask,

“When do we plan to utilize these concepts?” and for the teacher to respond, “Math teaches you how to think,” which is true but if it were taught in this manner.

To claim that things are changing would be a cause for an eyebrow. There are a variety of ingrained motives, from the way teachers are taught to the challenge of deciding on what is important in each subject, the way that students are taught in mathematics and science is very inflexible to changes.

However, we’re currently riding the next wave of math and science education for students in K-12 schools within the United States. 

Also Read:  Engage, Educate, Excel: Unlocking The Power of Math Riddles in Education

The most significant issues are a pair of very visible, but frequently ignored documents that are The Common Core math standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which, if successful, will change the way mathematics and science is taught. Both initiatives aim to redefine instruction in the basic concepts and concepts that underlie both fields.

“What we achieved by reorganizing the curriculum of mathematics in schools was way past due,” said Phil Daro who is one of the three principal creators for the Common Core math standards.

The changes go far beyond the controversial and new methods of teaching arithmetic which have attracted attention in the past and threatened stifle the momentum in Common Core math. 

The two documents grew from decades of research conducted by academics on the way children learn, and both reflect the same priorities. They show a sophisticated reframing of the structures of knowledge along with new definitions of what students need to master before they graduate from high school.

“Overall there’s an overall trend toward more complex cognitive math and a shift towards the student being encouraged to be mathematicians instead of simply learning about math and science,” said David Baker, Professor of sociology and educational sciences in the department of sociology and education at Pennsylvania State University. “These are huge developments and they’re very revolutionary.”

Also Read: Unlocking Wonderland’s Mathematical Secrets: A Beginner’s Guide To Alice in Wonderland

Educational revolutions aren’t easy to achieve but. However, the Common Core math standards were published in 2010 and the NGSS were released the following year. Today, a few years later even users of the Common Core like the state of New York are shifting away from the guidelines

While the final effect of the Common Core and NGSS is not yet clear, it’s evident that they go far beyond changing one textbook to another. To be truly effective it will require a complete overhaul of everything from assessments to materials for classrooms to the fundamental relationship between students and teachers.


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