The Teachings of Mathematics Education in America
Math educators in the United States should stress the understanding of the learners and teach them to process certain understanding to succeed in mathematics. The connection between math understanding and the reading of math problems should be raised in smaller grade levels so students have a better understand of math at younger ages. Yet it is not all the students’ part in learning the math, but also the educators’ part to teach the subject in an understanding manner using the curriculum and proper textbook. The rankings of mathematics in the United States are just barely above average compared to the world standards, and the preliminary studies show that the twelfth grade level tests are even lower and politics has to be blamed for this (Math and Learning).
“As teacher-educators and lifelong mathematics enthusiasts, we think that America’s problems with math are not new news; they predate both the No Child Left Behind Act and the reform-math movement. To us, the story here is less about test scores and more about the nation’s attitudes toward math. Simply put, America is math-phobic—to an extent that profoundly influences our country’s policies, teaching practices, and, ultimately, the performance of our students.” (ERIC)
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) want to emphasis the basic skills taught in math classes as per their standards made in 2000. The old standards, made in the 1990’s, stressed importance on new ideas, and integrated technology use to solve complex equations. Ms. Lappan, the president of NCTM said, "That became, in some places and for some teachers, the goal. They missed the main goal: that children become highly skilled in using mathematics; We've tried to be very clear [in the revised standards] that mathematics is the goal.” The proposals of the 1990 standards and the 1998 needing revisions said the same:
“Mathematics teachers need to reach all children by offering a variety of instructional strategies that encourage students to learn the concepts that lie under the algorithms they are learning; The changes, however, are unlikely to satisfy critics who find fault with the 1989 standards themselves, not just the way teachers and policymakers have implemented them. And they may also confuse and frustrate educators who have radically changed the way they teach based on the 1989 standards.”
Diane Ravitch, an education historian, said, "If you look at the history of the past 40 or 50 years, whenever a group of educators say they are going to de-emphasize basic skills, you can look at that as a storm warning (Hoff).”
Teachers have been too particular in what part of the standards to teach students. This is a main cause of students hating math because of the teachers teaching only what they believe is necessary and when the students get to higher levels they need the material not taught in the previous level. Another cause is the teachers who...