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Тематический план

  • Kilpatrick-2001-Adding It Up Helping Children Learn Mathematics

    Public concern about how well U.S. schoolchildren are learning mathematics is abundant and growing. The globalization of markets, the spread of information technologies, and the premium being paid for workforce skills all emphasize the mounting need for proficiency in mathematics. Media reports of inadequate teaching, poorly designed curricula, and low test scores fuel fears that young people are deficient in the mathematical skills demanded by society. Such concerns are far from new. Over a century and a half ago, Horace Mann, secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, was dismayed to learn that Boston schoolchildren could answer only about a third of the arithmetic questions they were asked in a survey. “Such a result repels comment,” he said. “No friendly attempt at palliation can make it any better. No severity of just censure can make it any worse.” In 1919, when part of the survey was repeated in school districts around the country, the results for arithmetic were even worse than they had been in 1845. Apparently, there has never been a time when U.S. students excelled in mathematics, even when schools enrolled a much smaller, more select portion of the population. Over the last half-century, however, mathematics achievement has become entangled in urgent national issues: building military and industrial strength during the Cold War, maintaining technological and economic advantage when the Asian tigers roared, and most recently, strengthening public education against political attacks. How well U.S. students are learning mathematics and what should be done about it are now matters for every citizen to ponder. And one hears calls from many quarters for schools, teachers, and students to boost their performance.