The Math Zombie Excuse

traditional math

From an article about the Russian Math School:

“Meanwhile, Hilary Kreisberg, director of the Center for Math Achievement at Lesley University and a former fifth-grade teacher turned math coach, says her experiences with RSM students have led her to question the claim that Russian Math focuses more on developing a deep understanding of math instead of memorization. In fact, she has seen the opposite. “From what I’ve seen, they come in well above their grade-level standards in terms of memorization, but not in terms of content understanding,” she says. “Many of them very quickly get to an answer or can compute in a fast way, but they can’t necessarily explain to me what they’re doing or why they’re doing it.” And explanations, she says, are a critical component of mathematics. “In public school teaching, we are very strictly taught that the goal is not to accelerate,” Kreisberg says. “The…

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