Friday, July 21, 2006

Decreased attention

An excellent dissection of NCTM charlatanry.

The NCTM Standards have been developed by progressive "math educators", not by people with genuine knowledge of mathematics. For eighty years progressive educationists have rejected the idea of remembering any domain-specific knowledge. They say knowledge is changing too fast, and the facts of today will be obsolete tomorrow. Calculators and computers are the latest "proof" of this claim. The NCTM wields them as a double-edged sword, justifying the trashing of traditional math and offering the benefit of exciting "tools" for bypassing the difficulties of traditional "paper-and-pencil" math.

Progressive educationists believe important factual knowledge is already known intuitively or will be picked up naturally as a byproduct of real-world experiences. They claim that real-world experts rely on "higher-order skills" and "just-in-time" factual knowledge supplied by computers and reference materials. They say real-world experts never trust their own long-term memory.

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