Saturday, April 9, 2016

The controversy with common core:

The controversy with common core:

     Math has become a new phobia among youth and current parents. It has many wearing math illiteracy as a badge of honor. The problem began with adults experiencing negativity at a young age toward the subject. It was often taught in very rigid and mechanical tone. The rigidity is where the problem we face today finds its roots. Math was drilled into our heads with the idea that there is only one way to do things, and anything else leads to lower grades. Many teachers were strictly against alternative methods, and led to an ingrained aversion to the subject for their students.

     Other issues include the teaching methods themselves, as well as the lack of guidance for students who may take longer to grasp the subject. In the interest of time, and testing, the teachers are encouraged to cover large amounts of material in a short amount of time. These factors in combination are what has resulted in the attitude toward math that parents possess today. This attitude is also being passed on to their children, by encouraging an avoidance of mathematics. The parents own aversion and lack of proper education in mathematics makes it difficult to understand the material their children are bringing home. The new common core standards and teaching tools are incredibly different from what many of these parents are familiar with.

      Currently students are being introduced new concepts for learning math with the development of common core. Altering how things are done, can be beneficial to finding better teaching options. Sure many of these methods are breaking from tradition, but as with all things we are learning. Which forces us to integrate new information and approaches to teaching. Parents and educators all need to stay aware of this. As we learn and grow intellectually, knowledge must force us to change. However, this change conflicts with the fact that the parents of these children are unable to help them to better their skills in these areas. Here we see the roots of the problem. The parents were not taught by common core standards, and therefore cannot aid their children until first learning the methods themselves.

     If parents or teachers see common core standards as a problem maybe schools could host a week long open seminar on what is actually going to be taught and how it is implemented. The schools could have qualified instructors in the common core standards come and talk with parents and teachers. They could even teach some of the new math strategies to the parents so they can be better informed on how to help their children adapt to the new material.

     Given the chance to come to understand the common core math standards could help change the way some respond to them. I understand the problems many people have with common core math. Seeing a drop in test scores with new standards being put into place is a shock, but when you look into it you see it is not the problem with the tests, it is us. We are failing our children. The common core math standards are well informed and vetted by leaders in the stem fields. And these are the things our children need to learn to remain competitive with their peers around the globe.

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