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No More Math Wars?

An editorial in The Economist notes efforts under way across the globe to improve mathematics education and looks forward to a not-too-distant future in which different educational schools of thought will make peace.

The piece recalls the 1980s "math wars" that rocked America, acknowledges how technology has changed the educational landscape, and gives examples of open-ended problems Conrad Wolfram and company have built into a curriculum commissioned by the government of Estonia. 

The conclusion:

Youngsters, in China and elsewhere, need to have the grounding to assess whether a computer-generated answer is close to right before they start to rely on whizzy technology. Then they can happily abandon the drill in long division and quadratic equations. For the majority of maths moderates, the good news is that both sides in the fruitless trench warfare between progressives and traditionalists look ready for a ceasefire.

Read the essay.

Start Date: 
Friday, February 14, 2014