Thursday, August 25, 2011

My dad was ahead of his time when he taught me math.

Today's op-ed in the New York Times, "How to Fix Our Math Education" (here), argues that students should learn math in context--that teaching them practical applications of math will make the concepts of math stick.  I'm proof of that. 

When I was in high school, my dad realized that, even though I was getting all As, I knew nothing about algebra.  (I went to high school in Texas.  Aside from a very few wonderful teachers, the only real education that I received was the education that Mom and Dad gave me at home.  I still have only the concept of geography that I learned in school:  "Texas" and "other"--and "other" meant "Dallas on up.")  He gave me homework in algebra and more advanced math subjects, as well as science homework.  That homework, which I'm sure frustrated the heck out of Dad, got me into Rice, and Rice got me into my various careers.

So the op-ed is smart.  As is Dad.

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