(Originally published at Nonpartisan Education Review in different form. This is an update and revision of same).
By way of introduction, I am a math teacher, but not a mathematician. I majored in math and have used it throughout my life including my pre-teaching career in which I worked in the field of environmental protection. My facility with math is due to good teaching and good textbooks. The teachers I had in primary and secondary school provided explicit instruction and answered students’ questions; they also posed challenging problems that required us to apply what we had learned. The textbooks I used also contained explanations of the material with examples that showed every step of the problem solving process.
I fully expected the same for my daughter, but after seeing what passed for mathematics in her elementary school, I became increasingly distressed over how math is currently taught in many schools.
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