Estonian Schools to Teach Computer-Based Math

Ben Rooney, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Feb 13, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Overtly this item is about using softare to teach math in schools in Estonia. But it is also about refocusing math instruction from solving problems in quadratic equations to applied statistics. I get the reasoning - the idea is to shift from mathematical calculation to framing and situating math problems in real life. But it is also shifting the context of mathematics from the sciences - and especially electronics - to business and finance. I'm not sure that's wise. It's true I've not solved a quadratic equation since my last math class. But I understand what it means to turn the knobs on an oscillator. Or to calculate decay in Audacity. Being able to visualize these shapes in your mind is at least as important as calculating a mortgage.

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