Go back to basics to fix math problem, say teachers

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Falling math scores in Ontario schools over the past few years has caused a lot of concern and now the province is soon to embark on a complete “curriculum refresh” hoping to address years of slumping math scores, several Ontario educators say the key is going back to basics.

They argue that students need more class time to work on core ideas like multiplication, division, decimals and fractions — time they say was taken away when the government introduced a more conceptual math curriculum more than 15 years ago.

Some teachers believe that math education “collapsed” with the new curriculum, which introduced what is at times referred to as inquiry-based learning, discovery learning, or constructivism, and which put a new focus on open-ended problem solving and group work.

Others believe kids don’t have the basic foundation skills, so they’re in the classroom learning these amazing abstract concepts but are stumped when it comes to multiplication.
Elementary school students are going to do an hour of mandatory math a day going forward.

Meanwhile, said Reid, there are other issues affecting math education in Ontario to consider.

Mentally computing math is at the heart of numeracy. So, it’s really a matter of getting kids to use their brains to do quick and simple calculations and not reach for that computer which is making them helpless and lazy. – CINEWS

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