Sunday, December 06, 2009

How Radical?

In my District Standard? post I visually summarized a module I think is long overdue for insertion somewhere in K-12. Like most math topics, if they're important at all, it'd crop up here and there, not just once for all time.

I've taken the time to invent, in overview form, an entire Digital Math course in which I'm keen to include said "concentric hierarchy" (above) as a part of what I call Martian Math (because it's futuristic, also somewhat unfamiliar i.e. alien).

However, even minus this new way of possibly satisfying Oregon's three year math requirement (for a high school diploma), isn't this just standard fare we should expect through our Math Learning Center or any professional body of math teachers (e.g. NCTM, MAA)?

The question is somewhat rhetorical, as the answer is no, this is not heritage our math teachers currently see fit to share.

That's a bone of contention of course i.e. we're not all on the same page in accepting this verdict. I'm teaching math, and my Oregon Curriculum Network has been a consistent champion of this material.

My credentials are enough in order to make this not dismissible as the work of a kook, plus this isn't really just a matter of relying on my own credentials as I come to these ideas through inheritance, am not their primary source.

I'm not seeing myself as some kind of fringe or marginal figure in suggesting this hole in the curriculum be filled. I'm seeing myself as being rather conservative and in cahoots with other thoughtful curriculum designers responding to needs in industry and commerce, wanting to have a robust education system, a goal I assume we all share. At no point have I suggested shoving other important content aside. Yet we need to make room, need to upgrade pronto.

I actually think we're paying a really high price for dilly dallying any longer. This stuff isn't that hard to talk and write about, coherently. I challenge us to at least some intelligent debate. Too much to ask?

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