After many years as a math teacher, John Bennett has come to believe that higher math (algebra and beyond) is wasted on most students.
Worse, he believes teaching higher math is downright destructive in many cases, bringing on "math anxiety" rather than math proficiency.
His answer is to stop teaching higher math except to those students that actually want it and to find another means of instructing students in inductive and deductive reasoning, perhaps with puzzles and games.
Perhaps, but the cogent reasons he gives in this video are based on his long experience as a math teacher and are worth a debate.
One argument in particular, that most people (99% is his estimate) will never use higher math after leaving school, bothers us greatly here at RobotsLAB.
If John Bennett is right about the numbers (and we disagree with his thesis that only math teachers, scientists and engineers will ever use higher math in the real world), then we still have too few math teachers, scientists and engineers.
To keep this nation’s competitive edge, we need more of all of the above, not less.
Many students, including this writer, came late to appreciating higher math and often wish their math teachers had bedeviled them with algebra, trig and geometry a bit longer.
Besides, just as modern technology demands more math teachers, scientists and engineers, it also provides today’s students with exciting new technological marvels like our own RobotsLAB BOX to inspire them.
The blackboard has been replaced with the tablet and the computer screen.
Instead of hard to relate to chalk scribbles, students can now experience the universe of meaning behind such once-seemingly exotic puzzles as quadratic equations and vectors by interacting with our exciting robots.
Should we deny the knowledge and the higher math skills from our children?