Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Math Ed in the elementary grades - a question

For the record, math teachers in the US are certified for grades 7 - 12. In the elementary grades (K - 6) there is no specific math certification. This means that the majority of teachers who are responsible for providing the foundation needed to learn math have little or no background in the subject. Before the holidays a friend asked me how I would change this. I have a number of thoughts running around in my head, but before I once again prove my ability to cause a comatose state in most people I'd like to know if anyone out there has a thought or two on this subject.


Part Deux

What types of things do you think we should be teaching in elementary school math?


Anonymous said...

So are math teachers Education majors or Math majors or both these days?

I seem to remember my high school math teacher was familiar with groups, rings and fields - but that was 30 years ago.


MathCogIdiocy said...

Although some of it is dependent on the college, math teachers are generally math majors who tack on some education courses including student teaching. Elementary teachers are education majors. The college here, which has a good reputation for its education program, requires elementary ed majors to complete a second major. The majority choose psychology.

vw bug said...

I think requiring the elementary teachers to pass 12th Grade Math should be a good start.

Teresa said...

One test - 2 questions only - should be able to weed out the people who should never go near math...

Question 1 - what is the answer to 153/0

Question 2 - solve - show your work...

2x + 4
______ = 25
3 + 7y

They immediately flunk if they don't declare Question 1 to be an illegal operation and/or they break apart the above fraction like so...

2x 4
__ + __ = 25
3 7y

BTW - there were people in my Calc 2 class who at one point did both of the above!

If they don't know that the above are wrong - they have no business teaching elementary math... I'm just sayin'

Teresa said...

Blast my bottom fractions didn't work right... that's the problem with text writing of fractions... *grin*