Monday, June 30, 2014

Math Reform Advocates Should Cut the Homework

If I wanted to make math reform stick in the USA, I'd take it as a basic design constraint that homework would have to be as minimal and non-threatening as possible. American parents have a long and well established track record of freaking out over math homework. So just don't send much work home, and what you do send home has to be in part designed for an audience of cranky parents. That's just the way it is. If you don't like it, do something else with your life.

Of course, because we've decided that it is necessary or desirable to decouple standards and curriculum (instead of considering them an integrated whole), nobody in particular has any control over the whole process. The standards writers have only indirect influence over the whole curriculum writing process. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that basic structure works.

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