The new standard of math has taken the teacher out of the classroom and instead made them into facilitators and aids of Common Core math, the new math of self-discovery.
Math teachers in the Plymouth-Canton district are highly displeased with the standards of Common Core math.
“With the practices of Common Core math, it enables me to just be a facilitator in the room,” said Sharon Laing of Plymouth high school. “I hand out the assignment, stand back and watch. The kids have to figure it out with no help from me. I have had to change up the way I teach the class because I am no longer teaching.”
This new math is terrible. The whole concept of self-discovery is not a good idea, especially when it is just sprung on the students. Students have been learning traditional math, which some people might call “mom and pop” math, until now. To switch it up on them is inconsiderate to say the least, especially when they do not have the necessary tools to be “self-discoverist” because they were not taught this from kindergarten.
According to the organization of Common Core, the state-led effort to develop the Common Core State Standards was launched in 2009 by state leaders. The purpose of the new math standard was to ensure that each student was benefiting and learning exactly the same way, regardless of where they lived or their race. State leaders want every student to be on the same playing field.
Common Core math lays out eight rules a child must follow in order to solve a problem and be successful. The basis of the rules are to analyze the problem with logic and reasoning then you are supposed to come up with the most logical way to solve the problem with necessary math skills you already possess.
Members of the Common Core organization stated the reason this math was created was that researchers noticed students from the U.S were lagging in the math department when compared to students of other countries. The Common Core math draws its examples and practices from regions that are doing far better than the U.S. Math from other countries has been analyzed and compared. Common Core has taken practices from all over and combined them to prepare one super math for children in the U.S.
Laing says she likes the “drill and kill” method.
“I think repetition is necessary when trying to solve an equation,” she said. “With Common Core I try to instill the same ‘drill and kill’ method, however I let them figure out how to solve the problem and once they find a way that works for them then we practice repetition.”
I strongly believe that the efforts of Common Core are great and the reason behind the new math is most certainly a logical reason to try and kick U.S. students into gear. But there needs to be more structure, you cannot expect a child to look at a problem and automatically know how it needs to be solved. Especially since this math has only been in effect for three years. We need to come up with a better way to whip our kids into shape, but Common Core isn’t the way.