Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Everyday Math, Constructivist Education, and Olentangy

The Texans can stand proud as they are ending the grip of Everyday Math and constructivist garbage. Meanwhile, Olentangy Local Schools is still under the spell, as is neighboring Dublin City Schools. Both districts are captives of Progressive educationists who refuse to make education the goal. These folks would rather lead another generation down the rabbit hole of nonsense than admit constructivist pedagogy is nothing more than indoctrination.

Parents, the revolution in Texas can spread to your district. You really have nothing to lose other than the constructivist chains that stunt your children's education.

Read my previous post where I discuss local educators' responses to failing US scores on international math and science tests. Even though Singapore leads the world and uses traditional methods, the educationists call for more fluff. They refuse to see the effects of their education choices. Or, possible, they revel in the fact that US students are suffering.

Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth

Everyday Math and Olentangy: This is a great YouTube.com video on the differences between traditional math and the current flavor of the constructivist, Progressive education in vogue at districts such as Olentangy. In fifteen minutes, you will understand why district students struggle through math.

You will also find yourself wondering why the administration adopted such a mess. Simply ask Olentangy's Executive Director of Elementary Learning why the district continues to embrace failed programs such as Everyday Math. I can only imagine his response.

The video's M.J. McDermott is able to effectively explain the issue since she has not been inculcated into the current education mess. She is a successful user of math; not some educationist with an alternate agenda.

Constructive Education and Olentangy: The constructivist education philosophy is centered on teachers and students being co-equals in the discovery of knowledge.1 The teacher holds no special place since knowledge is relative. Therefore, the simple understanding of a third grader is equal to the supposed learned knowledge of the professional teacher.2

Constructivism is an application of Progressive education, the pedagogy - philosophy - that has permeated public schools for over to a century. As these ideas have taken greater hold of education - most notably since the Sixties, student achievement has gone downhill - this despite a tremendous influx of dollars and technology.

Even though constructivist math - fuzzy math - had been a failure for years, Olentangy decided to adopt the Everyday Mathematics program for its students. Well, the district will not say they have adopted Everyday Mathematics. Instead, the district will use
doublespeak to say that they have adopted their curriculum maps, and not any single math program. But that simply confounds means with ends.

The maps are the ends, the definition of what is to be learned - the equivalent of architectural blueprints. The textbooks are the means to achieve the ends - the building tools and materials. Funny, your tax dollars pay for Everyday Mathematics textbooks yet the district staff do not even claim that they use the textbooks to teach math. Staff members say the books are simply a resource, similar to putting a child's plastic hammer in the toolbox instead of the steel hammer.

Go ahead and ask your administrators about Everyday Mathematics, you will hear them spin a tale of educationist gobbledygook. Hold on to your own head so that it doesn't counter spin in response.

[1] Check out rantings of the
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and The Teachers College Record from Columbia University's prestigious Teachers College.

[2] Administrators and teachers who buy into this philosophy may actually be the overpaid, co-equals of their students.


Anonymous said...

So Texas banned third day Everyday Mathematics and California rejected fifth grade EM. Maybe the states are in cahoot to get rid of it grade by grade. Whatever the case, it's a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Are we actually TRYING to dumb down our kids? If we are trying, Everyday Math is a step in the right direction.