In case you missed it, the Pelham Weekly ran a piece on our community math night. It’s behind the paper’s paywall, but an excellent summary of what happened at that informational evening (if we do say so ourselves). Here’s a choice snippet:
Dr. [Stanley] Ocken emphasized that learning and knowing equations and mathematical formulas is essential to working in higher-level math. Such skills must be taught in elementary school, and “Investigations” fails to do this, Ocken said, based on his review of both editions of the textbook series. Instead, it fosters the idea that there are many legitimate ways to solve basic math problems, advocates guessing and estimating instead of correct and efficient methods for solving a problem, and discourages the use of standard symbols and equations. This sets children up to struggle with algebra, calculus and other higher-level math and science work. That in turn means a wide range of college majors and careers – from engineering to medicine – will be ruled out for students who are taught via programs like “Investigations.”
Dr. Ocken identified three critical steps in learning mathematics: pictorial, concrete and abstract, adding that “Investigations” fails to advance beyond the first step.
The three professors called “Investigations” the worst of the constructivist math programs in elementary schools today. Constructivism is the controversial educational theory that claims students only learn most things by discovering those things for themselves.
If you want the highest quality math for the children of Pelham, click here to see and sign the petition to replace Investigations. For copy-and-paste fans, here’s the url: