Call for a new Mathematics curriculum
August 26, 2011 5 Comments
As a mathematics teacher, I get mixed feelings when I read articles like this one calling for a new Mathematics curriculum. In my 22 years in education, the Math curriculum in the province of Alberta has changed at least 3 or 4 times. Some of these changes have been good…some, not so good. Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree that much of what we teach kids in Math is totally irrelevant to the careers that they will find themselves in. I agree that Math education for the 21st century should involve the disciplines of which the article speaks. I get excited about the potential to change the Math curriculum to be more relevant for careers that students will be working in.
At the same time, I get a little frustrated. My experience has shown that we can change our Math curriculum all we want but none of these changes will be effective unless the post-secondary institutions get on board with us. We are currently developing a new series of courses at the grade 11 and 12 level and we have absolutely no idea if the post-secondary institutions will accept them. Many years back, we changed our Math program to Pure and Applied Math but the Applied Math 30 course became a dead end because post-secondary institutions were not willing to accept it. Back in the day, it was touted as the course that kids needed to go to technical school but our local tech school would not even accept it for some programs. This made kids go back and upgrade to Pure Math.
Bottom line: If we are going to make changes, all of the stakeholders need to be heard from.
Please share your comments.