Thursday, January 09, 2003

'CHIMP MATH' Slips On a Banana

Are children in your school getting real math? Or math so easy that a chimpanzee could do it?

The old term was "fuzzy math. Now the term "chimp math" refers to the pervasive "whole math" philosophy that censors the teaching of math facts and practical foundational skills from students, including memorization and lots of repetition. Unfortunately, "chimp math" is in place in schools all across Nebraska now.

Sure signs: students will be engaged in a lot of dreary, hands-on "projects" in which students supposedly teach each other, group discussion is valued over individual concentration and problem-solving, there are non-math assignments such as essays about math, textbooks with lots of color pictures but not too many problems to work and no explanations so that parents might help with homework, and lots of brain teaser-type questions that would never translate to a real-world application.

The national wave of outrage against curricula like Everyday Mathematics and Interactive Mathematics continues to build to tsunami force. Be sure to check out /a> for more.