This article, http://www.macleans.ca/society/life/have-you-finished-your-homework-mom/ from MacLean’s magazine, two and a half years ago, is targeting parents whose kids are not achieving in math. That is, they don’t have the basic skills to undertake high school math and parents are now asking why?
For me as a high school math teacher, it speaks to why kids come into grade 9 math without basic computations skills. Why are we having such low math scores? It is not just Ontario, but across Canada.
The article explains how these gaps have developed over the last ten years or so. I particularly liked the reference to the Tower of Babel – building that tower to heaven (heaven being Math in our case) and then finding one day that no one was speaking the same language while everyone was working toward the same outcome – get these kids to Math Utopia. The endless ways of learning numeracy skills is confusing everyone – especially K – 8 math students. Asking them which way works best for them when they are presented with a myriad of basic computation lessons is puzzling for the developing learner. There certainly is a case for “over kill” in the computation department.
The downside of this article is that parents can, yet again, place blame on schools. It is best that all stakeholders work together to solve the gap conundrum in computation skills.