Math Wars: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

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Overview

This book is written for parents and other interested parties so that they can understand the great debate taking place in many states in this country about how to teach basic math. The debate centers around the standards written by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), which call for a radically different approach to mathematics education. Because the issues are so heated between the NCTM-oriented curricula and traditional curricula (the curricula that NCTM-oriented replaced), the term Math Wars was coined to describe them.

Parents are concerned about their children's math learning. Teachers are concerned about math teaching. When parents see what children are bringing home under the new curriculum, it is clear that their children are not working on the same mathematics that parents remember from the time when they were in school. But, the problem goes beyond grades K-12. Post-secondary mathematics courses are the fear of many students. The standards created by the NCTM do not necessarily prepare students for success, either on SATs or in college.

Besides lack of knowledge about mathematics education, many parents have an additional problem in that they feel they lack knowledge in mathematics itself. This is very intimidating; thus it is difficult for parents to do anything about the confusing state of mathematics education. This book provides some answers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275984236
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

CARMEN M. LATTERELL, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She has taught mathematics at all levels since 1988. She is a frequent contributor to research journals on the subject of mathematics education.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 What preceded the math wars? 13
3 What is constructivism? 33
4 What does research say about the math wars? 43
5 Who are the math wars players and on which side are they? 55
6 What are the NCTM standards? 71
7 What distinguishes NCTM-oriented curricula? 87
8 What distinguishes NCTM-oriented problems from traditional problems? 99
9 What happens to students as they reach the college level? 113
10 What is happening internationally in mathematics education? 125
11 Both sides of the question 137
12 Additional resources 149
App. 1 Gender differences in mathematics ability 155
App. 2 Definitions of mathematics 159
App. 3 Placement testing 163
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