Saturday, July 26, 2008
Chicken or the Egg--Algebra or Geometry?
I'm going to do what a lot of edubloggers do: blog about other blogs.
Jackie from Continuities has started a good conversation on the order that we teach math in high school: must algebra come before geometry?
My gut reaction is: nope--we just do it that way because of tradition, and tradition is a dangerous thing to cling to. I guess it would be interesting to do a historical analysis of this issue.
I don't know why, but I'm always excited about change. If someone tells me tomorrow, "Hey, we're thinking of teaching Geometry before Algebra 1 at our school, would you like to come and try teaching with us?"--well, I'd probably sign up just for the experience.
Of course there are many types of change I don't like. If someone tells me tomorrow, "Hey, we're thinking of teaching 50 minute classes of about 30 students each class and we're gonna go with a good 'back to the basics' approach with either Saxon or Glencoe books, would you like to come and try teaching with us?"--well, I'd probably run the other way.
The change should at least hint of progress, whatever that is.