Shut the Hell Up, Dept.


I got this far in a news story about Common Core:

“If you have 12 cookies and four friends, how can you give an equal number of cookies to each friend? The trouble with this standby analogy comes when you divide by a fraction. You can have the same 12 cookies, but if you divide by ¼, the old approach won’t work. We don’t have friends who come in quarters.

” “You have to think that you’re not dividing up the cookies, you are seeing how many times ¼ can fit into 12,” explained Juli Dixon, professor of mathematics education at the University of Central Florida. “It’s a change in thinking. We used to teach procedural math, but now students have to understand the ‘why’ as much as the ‘how’.” ”

First of all, the cookie problem does work if you ask “How many quarter pieces are there in 12 cookies”. Secondly, the usual mischaracterization of traditional math rears its head with the “We used to teach procedural math.” Right. No conceptual underpinning was EVER taught, just the procedures. Rote memorization. Right. Got it.

The rest of the article is about how CC requires a “different way of teaching” (It doesn’t). And on and on. This type of article is the “It’s a Wonderful Life” of educational journalism. We can look forward to seeing it again and again–and apparently Hechinger Reports and the educationists never get tired of it!


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