Published at Thursday, December 10th, 2020 - 10:50:00 AM. 6th Grade Math. By Tami Chaney.
Marilyn Burns, a well known math expert, has been addresses math anxiety since 1970 with her first book, "I Hate Mathematics" right through to her more current book, "Math; Facing an American Phobia" 1998. The latter book speaks to math anxiety as a growing phenomenon. And more recently "Math for the Anxious" by Rosanne Proga, copyrighted 2005 also is very clear about math anxiety and its causes. Of course, all this math anxiety is good; at least it is for the math textbook industry. Math anxiety sells math textbooks. Parents are concerned that their children learn math better than they did. Teachers are calling for a better way to teach math. This is great news for the math textbook companies. For you and me, this is bad news.
I know this statement is shocking. Some of you may feel that I have announced the end of the civilization as we know it. How in the world will people learn math without the latest and greatest math textbook. The answer is simple. The same way people have always learned math prior to the modern education system, by doing math as they go about their everyday lives. You may ask "Is that possible?" "Would it work?" I believe so. Its the reason I made this statement when I was asked if my new book, "Math is Childs Play" was going to be a Math Textbook. But in all fairness, lets look at both sides, school math versus everyday math. First lets look at school math. I have been studying of late the topic of Math Anxiety. Increasing number of people profess to hate math, to be no good at math, to be anxious about doing basic math. These same people were taught math in our public schools. When did this situation of math anxiety start? Who knows for sure? But whats significant is that its increasing, not decreasing. Its increasing despite the modern education system, despite New Math and the latest teaching methods, despite all the money and energy that has been put towards the problem. Just for the record, I found a book "Mathematics; A Human Endeavor" by Harold R. Jacobs copyrighted in 1970 which in its preface the author mentions the failure of New Math in the schools. A book from 1964, titled "Mathematics for Elementary Teachers" by Ralph Crouch and George Baldwin which was written to teach math to elementary teacher who found themselves expected to teach math although they had no training in math.
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