see article Video: In CA schools, 3 X 4 = 11
August 20, 2013
By John Seiler
Back in the early 1990s, California schools adopted “New New Math” and “Whole Language” to dumb down the kids. Parents revolted. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the state reformed the curriculum and adopted some decent standards.
But in California, no bad idea stays down for long. This time, it’s adopting President Obama’s Common Core, which brings back “conceptual math” from the New New Math. Instead of just learning the multiplication tables by rote, which people have been doing for centuries, students instead are instructed to “think through” the answer, and that there really is no wrong answer. So, the answer to 3 X 4 can be 11. Really.
There’s a trick involved here. Of course, it’s good to teach kids about concepts. Until the Deweyite reforms of a century ago, students learned critical thinking as a separate subject. That was dumped in John Dewey’s earlier dumbing down. But critical thinking of the real type isn’t involved here, only muddy thinking.
Here’s a YouTube that explains the Common Core approach to math. It’s serious. As the teacher says, “The emphasis is more toward the explanation.”