Math in America
Studies abound showing that US students’ interest and ability in mathematics are weak relative to those of students in other advanced industrialized countries. In the most recent international PISA findings we rank 26th! Is something wrong with our math education system that is failing students? Perhaps there is something inherent to mathematics that is turning US students away. Is math too hard? Are some people just not good at math? The ability to read is unquestionably an important skill for a successful life and career. Is mathematical literacy a necessary life skill as well? We will explore these questions and more by considering the recent history and controversies surrounding mathematics education in the United States and analyzing scholarship on numeracy, math anxiety, and the art and science of mathematical thinking. The course will conclude with students engaging in inquiry-based math activities to experience an alternate approach to learning mathematics.
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