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The Faulty Logic of the 'Math Wars'

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T'here is a great progressive tradition in American thought that urges us not to look for the aims of education beyond education itself. Teaching and learning should not be conceived as merely instrumental affairs; the goal of education is rather to awaken individuals' capacities for independent thought. Or, in the words of the great progressivist John Dewey, the goal of education 'is to enable individuals to continue their education.... For a vivid illustration of the challenges, we can turn to raging debates about K-12 mathematics education that get referred to as the 'math wars' and that seem particularly pertinent now that most of the United States is making a transition to Common Core State Standards in mathematics.

At stake in the math wars is the value of a 'reform' strategy for teaching math that, over the past 25 years, has taken American schools by storm.
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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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