When I read the headline “A Passion for Making Math Make Sense to Kids” I thought it was another of those “students need to understand not memorize” type of articles, with homages to growth-mindsets, memorization is bad, and traditional-math-never-worked-because-it’s-taught-as-rote memorization-and-a-bunch-of-tricks-and-look-at-all-the-adults-who-say-they-don’t-like-math.
But no. It was about Susri Anuradha, a woman with an engineering degree who opened up a Mathnasium franchise. Mathnasium is one of many of the learning centers to which parents send their kids to learn the math that isn’t being taught in schools, in the manner held in disdain by math reformers of all stripes.
“In 2015, she opened her first “Mathnasium”, a math learning center for children ages 5 to 18, in Acton, MA. Earlier this month, she opened opened her second franchise location in Burlington, MA. Anuradha holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a M.S. in Information Management Systems from Harvard University. After a rewarding career in Information Technology, Anuradha followed her passion of “Making Math Make Sense to the kids” and opened Mathnasium of Acton. Her decision to open and expand Mathnasium is driven by her desire to help children build confidence and excel in the subject she enjoys most – math.”
Of note was this quote from Ms Anuradha: “I love it when I meet my students in social gatherings and they come and hug me. I love to see kids getting empowered by the gift of education.”
I have to say I love it too. For the record I teach math in a traditional manner. Not to brag too much, but I just received a card from the mother of one of my students during teacher appreciation week. The card said “Thanks for bringing math back.”
4 thoughts on “Not Much to See Here, Dept.”
Keep that card close at hand when the reformers come banging at your door Barry…
I’d love to see “teach-offs” between folks who wrangle over teaching methods. Put up your champion teachers, rope ’em off in separate rooms with a bunch of normal kids of an appropriate age, pre-tested for proficiency and knowledge, randomly divided into test groups, and give each group 3 one-hour sessions by these champions to teach a major new topic to mastery, and test at the end. Survey kids, teachers and parents pre and post test. Begin with a joint agreement to publicize results
That probably wouldn’t be enough sessions to be able to tell anything. But anything more than that would be cruel and unusual punishment for the group getting the student-centered treatment.
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