The common theme of most of these letters seems to be “This isn’t the way I learned it, I don’t understand it – so it has to be bad.”
I have read a few things about what common core is trying to do with regards to math and I love math. I don’t have a problem with the goals. They are trying to help kids understand the math concepts rather than just a set of instructions. All of the things that I have seen posted are simply different strategies to achieve those goals. I think it is great to have a lot of different strategies and techniques available because there are lots of different ways of thinking about things.
Even with all of the discussion of WHAT specific things we teach children, very few people want to even consider the HOW we teach children. Those that argue against a specific curriculum being imposed don’t even consider the possibility that it is the IMPOSITION that is is the problem – not the specifics. They just want it to be their particular brand of thinking that is imposed.
I welcome and try to seek out new ideas in the realm of ways to think and learn about things. Time and experience will help us find those that are the most effective and lead to the greatest understanding.
Could it be that the arguing over what is taught is only a distraction from the real question of the legitimacy of our current educational (and parental) thinking?