Jun 25, 2016

BOOK: The Math Myth

I'm not going to spend a lot of time reviewing this book. I'm not a reviewer. I'm a teacher who reads. Mr. Hacker is a professor and author. He researched and worked on this book for twenty years. That's amazing.

From The New Press...
The bestselling author’s timely and provocative argument that requiring all students to master a full menu of mathematics is causing more harm than good.
It's easy to read and I was surprised by much of what I read. Not only does it dispel the myth that math is essential for every student, every major, and every future, it offers a thorough explanation of why this myth was created and how it's perpetuated.

As a fifth grade math teacher, I know that much of what I teach is important for the future--basic operations, fractions, decimals, and reading graphs. So, what is it that I take from this book?

As we prepare for an avalanche of assessments in elementary school, feeling the pressure to perform, we try to motivate students by reminding them of their futures. On one hand, we remind them that they need our lessons to find good jobs. The Math Myth makes the argument seem a little silly. On the other, we remind them that they need to do well to pass tests and make good grades. That rationale just lacks... heart. I didn't become a teacher to help students pass tests or report cards. I want them to enjoy school and enjoy learning, so my job is to find ways of making that happen.

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