Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Professor frustrated by "dads frustrated by the Common Core"

It's bad enough when politicians like Donald Trump say to do away with the Common Core to score political points without probably having read a single word of it we now have dads dissing the Common Core math standards by writing a check using one of the practice activities for helping children develop a sense of number.

Nobody really gets excited about anything with the word 'common' in it. Common  sense, a common noun, the village  common, the Commons in the British parliament. common and garden, and so on. The word just begs to be dismissed. If only they had clalled it something else

But more seriously, the Common Core for State Standards of mathematics are really good and worth sitting down with for a couple of hours. They present a way of looking at mathematics that is based on logic and understanding, a way that can empower children to use and enjoy their math knowledge rather than becoming a slave to it as so many are who have gone before.

Think about the answer to the question; What is pi?  If you answered that it is 3.14 and goes on for ever without recurring then you probably got that question right on a simple math test of recall. But the Common Core requires more than that. We want students now to understand that Pi is a ratio between the diameter and circumference of a circle and that every circle no matter how large or small is just over 3 times around than it is across. Armed with this understanding you can do so much more that simply say it is 3.14.

This is what the Common Core for Math is all about; empowering children with greater understanding.