Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Math Wars, Battlefront Seattle

The debate about how best to teach mathematics is getting rehashed in Seattle as they prepare to adopt a new math curriculum. The Seattle Times and the Seattle PI have both weighed in with editorials, and we should know soon which way they decide to go: constructivist, as embodied in the much-maligned Everyday Math, or traditional, like you find in the Singapore Math curriculum.

The comments section of the PI editorial gives you a good microcosm of what the debate looks like. The traditionalist viewpoint thrives at Mathematically Correct and at Washington State's very own Where's the Math?, a great blog with frequent updates; those who believe in constructivism can find ample ammunition to support the cause at this subsite from

At the end of the day I think any of us would agree that the ultimate goal is to make sure the students are getting where they need to be. The rather nebulous part of that equation is that we're not always sure where they need to be; the recent delay of the math WASL, for example, or the NCTM's recent Curriculum Focal Points document are both pretty good reflections on the fact that the only constant is change.

What's the state of math in your district?

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