NPR says we should nix algebra since its too hard for kids to learn

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
70,516
46,983
USA
#2
The argument against algebra is that it doesn't really prepare students for math they'll do immediately afterward. Algebra is pre-calculus, from what I understand, and it's difficult for students to see real-world applications for the math. They can do algebra later in the sequence and get more out of it. At least, that's the argument.

Why do we teach science the way we do? Almost everybody does biology because we do that first. Fewer people take chemistry, which comes later on. Physics, if people cover it in high school at all, is done last. Why is that?

A decision was made back in 1912 to standardize the science curriculum. They didn't think at that time there was any reason for any order--they all looked independent. And yet today it appears that physics is the most basic science, so it should probably go first.

Why do we do biology, then chemistry, then physics? Alphabetical order.
 
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May 2012
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By the wall
#3
The argument against algebra is that it doesn't really prepare students for math they'll do immediately afterward. Algebra is pre-calculus, from what I understand, and it's difficult for students to see real-world applications for the math. They can do algebra later in the sequence and get more out of it. At least, that's the argument.

Why do we teach science the way we do? Almost everybody does biology because we do that first. Fewer people take chemistry, which comes later on. Physics, if people cover it in high school at all, is done last. Why is that?

A decision was made back in 1912 to standardize the science curriculum. They didn't think at that time there was any reason for any order--they all looked independent. And yet today it appears that physics is the most basic science, so it should probably go first.

Why do we do biology, then chemistry, then physics? Alphabetical order.
They didn't mention moving it around, they said to get rid of it.
 
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Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
70,516
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USA
#4
They didn't mention moving it around, they said to get rid of it.
Moving it later in the high school curriculum is the equivalent of removing it from general education requirements. The idea is to teach people math they will actually use. There are required courses in the humanities too, but we don't make every student take literature or music or art or philosophy of a very particular kind, either. The question should be, "what kind of math (or science or humanities) will students actually need to use. At the college level, algebra is pre-calculus. Students in economics or the sciences will need that, but others may not.
 
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Jul 2013
56,209
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Nashville, TN
#5
Moving it later in the high school curriculum is the equivalent of removing it from general education requirements. The idea is to teach people math they will actually use. There are required courses in the humanities too, but we don't make every student take literature or music or art or philosophy of a very particular kind, either. The question should be, "what kind of math (or science or humanities) will students actually need to use. At the college level, algebra is pre-calculus. Students in economics or the sciences will need that, but others may not.
Arguing rationally with an ideologue is pretty much a waste of time. The "point" being made is that educators are inherently flawed and should be disregarded, because "Liberals"
 
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Jul 2014
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Border Fence
#6
Notice to identify fake news sites.

There is a little blue dot with a check mark in it. if you click on it and it does not verify as the source site...it may be fake news





Let's Stop Requiring Advanced Math, A New Book Argues
Let's Stop Requiring Advanced Math, A New Book Argues : NPR Ed : NPR


Andrew Hacker is professor emeritus of political science at Queens College, City University of New York, and the author of several more-or-less contrarian books about education, some of them bestsellers.


His latest is called The Math Myth: And Other STEM Delusions. It poses many nagging, open-ended questions like the second example above, without a lot of neat, tied-up-with-a-bow answers like No. 1.

Hacker's central argument is that advanced mathematics requirements, like algebra, trigonometry and calculus, are "a harsh and senseless hurdle" keeping far too many Americans from completing their educations and leading productive lives.
NPR did not say anything.

and the site verification did not confirm it was the verified site.
 
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NiteGuy

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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Teardrop City
#8
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