kitchen table math, the sequel: integrated math, yay or nay?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

integrated math, yay or nay?

Linda Moran is looking into it. She cites this post by Matt Abe:

What is integrated ("reform") math? It is a way of teaching math in which traditionally separate subject areas, such as algebra and geometry, are integrated into one course of study; and it integrates math with non-math subjects and real-world experiences.

Strands!


whole stuff taught wholly

This is more constructivist Romanticism.

The Romantics believed in wholes (I gather).

Not in parts.

Nature is a whole....therefore reading is a whole & math is a whole etc.

That appears to be the jist (speaking as a person who knows nothing about intellectual history, of course).

Interdisciplinary this, that, and the other is the same idea.

The middle school model, planned for our middle school, was going to be all interdisciplinary teaching all the time.

That's constructivism: teach everything all the time in one big blob.

No component skills!

No starting small and building up!

No baby steps!

This is why we have, in our middle school, a Regents Earth science course that can be handled only by students scoring in the top 10% of the country on the CTBS.

The kids have to swallow the subject whole.

Which probably means they're coming into the course having mastered lots of background knowledge to begin with.

School never looks at that.

We look at "maturity."

"Mature" students can "conceptualize."

"Immature" students can't "conceptualize."

I wonder if this attitude has anything to do with our middle school being worried about not making AYP?

9 comments:

Instructivist said...

I like the way Saxon integrates geometry and math. So I guess Saxon was ahead of the curve.

I could do without integrating non-math subject.

rightwingprof said...

I tried going to the dashboard to see if I could figure out what was going on with the recent comments thing, but it won't let me do anything but write and edit.

Parentalcation said...

Colleges and Universities don't use integrated math. Even the ones that have remedial math courses.

Enough said.

Catherine Johnson said...

rightwingprof - let me sign you up as owner or whatever it is...

Catherine Johnson said...

For what it's worth, Wickelgren thinks integrated math is fine.

I'm of two minds....I don't feel like I'm making headway with probability or with geometry using Saxon.

I do think I'm getting a solid education in algebra, so I'll have to see if I feel that way about geometry when I get to the 3rd book in the series. (I'm midway through Algebra 2.)

Sam-Is-Mad said...

In SOSE last year we had a guest lecturer come in a tell us all how wonderfully we could intergrate SOSE with English and maths. "Choose books with an environmental theme, or one about the horrors of war. Make up story problems about the issues our children face, like injustice and (something else)."

I put up my hand. She was thrilled. I had sat there all lesson doing maths and ignoring her.

"Didn't Hitler do that?"

Instructivist said...

I don't want to leave the false impression that I favor interdisciplinary monstrosities like IMP when I said I like the way Saxon integrates geometry and math. At the elementary level it makes a lot of sense to integrate the two subjects.

Catherine Johnson said...

"Didn't Hitler do that?"

good lord

you're tough

except....I don't get the reference--?

Catherine Johnson said...

instructivist - why do you say integrating geometry into the curriculum in lower levels is good?

It strikes me as being good...but I don't know why apart from the far greater mastery kids are going to have, having worked with these concepts and calculations for so many years (which is reason enough to do it for me).