Every so many years the Western world redoes its school curriculum. Often times you will hear about this via parents complaining about how things are being taught.
As an educator, I’m all for innovative ways that allow people to learn, but even I am stumped by something with these changes. No one has ever been able to explain this to me either.
I’m talking about the “new math”. Here’s what puzzles me. People who are into math will say things like “it’s black and white” or “the logic is flawless” or even “the numbers don’t lie”.
Okay I can buy all that, I really can. I’m not a huge fan of the numbers as I prefer words and such, but I get that E numbers are static 2+2 is always going to equal 4 following mathematical logic.
So why do we have new math? New ways of teaching it? Why? What has changed? Can someone please explain this to me as well as what makes us think there is such a thing as creative math that still works under the laws of the numbers? Oh and why do we think we need to keep making the math work harder even though the age of the student for a given grade really doesn’t change? Have we forgotten how the young mind works?
Okay part do this is my fear that we are making too many programmers and engineers and forgetting about the study of the humanities and art. There is a place for everything, but it seems we are moving away from that to a more math filled world and this makes me sad (yes even as I adore my electronic gadgets). We need poems to speak the words we can not utter ourselves. Stories to give us adventuress that otherwise would never happen. We need music to voice for the dance. Yes I know music is based on math, but why must we break art down to numbers and lose sight of art?