When Less Is More: The Case for Teaching Less Math in School
Kids who received just one year of arithmetic, in sixth grade, performed at least as well on standard calculations and much better on story problems than kids who had received several years of arithmetic training.
Not a single teacher, out of the fifty that she met with, knew how to find the area of a rectangle. They taught multiplication, but none of them knew that multiplication is used to find the area of a rectangle. Their most common guess was that you add the length and the width to get the area. Their excuse for not knowing was that they did not need to teach about areas of rectangles; that came later in the curriculum. But the fact that they couldn’t figure out that multiplication is used to find the area was evidence to Kenschaft that they didn’t really know what multiplication is or what it is for.
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