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.

2 comments:

Jackie said...

Want a job?

No Saxon. No Glencoe.

Lots of problem solving, using technology (Sketchpad, Graphing Calculators), multiple representations...

RichSkyline said...

Okay! Oh wait, I kinda like the weather and mountains here.... :-)