Thursday, February 23, 2012

Math Matters

My principal put a copy of this article in my mailbox today. It's not very long and is worth reading. This closing quote is what has me thinking at the moment:

"During my tenure as a member of Temple University's faculty in the 1970s, I tutored black students in math. When they complained that math was too difficult, I told them that if they spent as much time practicing math as they did practicing jump shots, they'd be just as good at math as they were at basketball. The same message of hard work and discipline applies to all students, but someone must demand it."

Right now, all I can think about is, don't we demand that hard work and discipline from our students? At least, I think I demand that from my students. If I'm not demanding it, what do I do differently?

More things to think about...

1 comment:

Stephanie Glen said...

Hi,

I came across your blog via David Wees. I read your post about black students complaining math was "too difficult" and I wonder if it's just...not relevent to their lives?

As a fellow mathematics educator I thought you might be interested in learning about an educational TV show about math that we're putting together that's aiming to reach inner city students. "The Number Hunter" is going to do for math education what Bill Nye The Science Guy did for science education. I’d really appreciate your help in getting the word out about the project.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/564889170/the-number-hunter-promo
I studied math education at Jacksonville University and the University of Florida. It became clear to me during my studies why we’re failing at teaching kids math. We're teaching it all wrong! Bill Nye taught kids that science is FUN. He showed them the EXPLOSIONS first and then the kids went to school to learn WHY things exploded. Kids learn about dinosaurs and amoeba and weird ocean life to make them go “wow”. But what about math? You probably remember the dreaded worksheets. Ugh.
I’m sure you know math is much more exciting than people think. Fractal Geometry was used to create “Star Wars” backdrops, binary code was invented in Africa, The Great Pyramids and The Mona Lisa, wouldn’t exist without geometry.
Our concept is to create an exciting, web-based TV show that’s both fun and educational.
If you could consider posting about the project on your blog, I’d very much appreciate it. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thanks in advance for your help,
Stephanie
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/564889170/the-number-hunter-promo