Sunday, September 17, 2006


So I finally fixed my blog. I like this look a lot better than the one I had to resort to temporarily. I also added Right Wing Nation to my blog roll. I don't necessarily agree with all of his politics, since I am a left leaning moderate politically, but he raises good points and I agree with 99% of his views on education.

Though rightwingprof's post entitled "Diversity Destroys Education" might be misleading, he makes some excellent points. He ridicules the notion that teachers should tailor their instruction to individual students, pointing out that it’s simply not possible for a teacher to cover all the information multiple times to cater to different types of learners. He concentrates on how the progressive constructivist view on education is especially not appropriate to math education.

Allowing multiple [teaching] methods encourages failure — because, again, math is wholly linear, and skills build upon other skills. Allowing students to "own" math means not teaching them math at all.

The linearity of math means that there is exactly one method, and only one method, for any given skill:
2 that symbol manipulation which must be mastered not only to solve the current problem, but to master other skills down the road. It makes no difference if little Johnny would rather glue macaroni on toilet paper tubes. It makes no difference if little Michelle is a crayon project-oriented learner. Only one method accomplishes the entire reason for teaching the skill in the first place.

I wholeheartedly agree with him with one caveat. It might not be possible to tailor math instruction or any other subject for that matter to every "group" out there, but I do think that there is a strong argument for single sex education. Despite feminist denials there is plenty of evidence that single sex education actually benefits girls. Rightwingprof correctly points out that mathematics is the cornerstone of education, unfortunately with today’s one size fits all and child centered approach to education we aren’t even providing our children with a proper foundation of skills.