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Data Reveals Memorizers Perform Worst on Common Core Math

Data Reveals Memorizers Perform Worst on Common Core Math

Data from the PISA exam—The Programme for International Student Assessment—reveals that students who used memorization strategies performed significantly lower than students who thought of math as a "set of connected, big ideas," according to the 

The data pulls from 65 different countries and a total of 13 million tested students.

According to the Hechinger Report's Jo Boaler, this signifies a need for change in the United States math curriculum.

"[W]e continue to value the faster memorizers over those who think slowly, deeply and creatively – the students we need for our scientific and technological future," she said.

She references a move from the district San Francisco Unified, where students are encouraged to go deeper rather than faster when navigating the math curriculum. This way, students rely less on memorization and acquire a deeper understanding of the subject.

"New brain science tells us that no one is born with a math gift or a math brain and that all students can achieve in math with the right teaching and messages," she said.

All in all, Boaler believes the United State's math curriculum needs a change, and believes the country will produce children better prepared for the future if it does.

"When we do this we will see many more creative, energized young people equipped to think quantitatively about our ever-changing world. We all need this."

Boaler isn't alone. Many supporters of Common Core Standards feel the standards have begun the process of moving away from memorization in the United States.

In school districts throughout California, educators have had to defend themselves against parents who feel their children are being given math instruction that is too difficult this testing season.

In response, leading educators are emphasizing the need for not computation and memorization, but a progression of learning complex problems children understand because they get the concepts.

“'Memorization isn’t good enough anymore. You have to be able to take what you know and apply it,' said California Board of Education President Michael Kirst to KPCC.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman,Education World Contributor


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