kitchen table math, the sequel: CBC's The Current

Friday, February 2, 2007

CBC's The Current

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation airs a radio program called The Current every weekday morning. The other morning this was on:

Math Boot Camp – Talk Tape
Times tables, long division, square roots ... if you are of a certain age you'll remember these -- and probably not fondly. For many years, these basic drills were the nuts and bolts of elementary and high school math classes.
But that's no longer the case. A couple of decades ago, drills and repetition were overtaken by a focus on logic and problem-solving. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But Sherry Mantyka says it has led to what she calls "The Math Plague."
Sherry Mantyka is a Math Professor at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland. And she says too many students are unable to apply basic math skills to complicated problems or to be ready for university-level math.
Our Newfoundland and Labrador producer Heather Barrett can count on one hand the number of successful encounters she's had with mathematics in recent years. But she nonetheless volunteered to go look into Professor Mantyka's concerns and the solutions that she is proposing. Heather Barrett was in St John's this morning.
(And by the way, Heather Barrett scored a stunning 95% on her last math test).

Listen to The Current:
Part 1
How to Survive School Mathematics (Click here for excerpt from book)

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