Sorry to keep harping on the Education Trust “study” that finds middle school assignments lacking in the “conceptual understanding” department. In the Education Week article on the “study” (and no mention whatsoever in the study of what mathematicians, engineers and/or scientists were consulted in writing it) a commenter agreed wholeheartedly with it and said:
And I COMPLETELY agree that my experience in MS (and HS) classrooms focuses way too much on procedural over conceptual understanding.
Which caused me to wonder: Just what conceptual understanding do people think is missing from middle school math? It isn’t that students are just given problems to solve without explaining what the concepts are. Percentages are explained, as are decimals, as are fractions, and why one uses common denominators, and even the why and how of multiplication and division. Anyone who teachers middle schoolers or even high school students, knows that students gravitate to the…
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