By Professor Suzanne M. Wilson, Visit Amazon's Suzanne M. Wilson Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Suzanne M. Wilson,
Wilson’s three-d account of math schooling reform efforts finds how the debates are usually deeply ideological and the way humans come to believe misunderstood and misrepresented. She examines the myths used to provide an explanation for the failure of reforms, the particular purposes for failure, and the significance of taking a number of views under consideration while making plans and enforcing reform.
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Extra resources for California Dreaming: Reforming Mathematics Education
Understanding why New Math failed, and the major concerns and criticisms aimed at it, is important background for the California mathematics education reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. I had always heard New Math failed because the reforms did not include the necessary sustained professional development. This turns out to be not so true, for many New Math projects involved a serious commitment to the ongoing education of teachers. Jeremy Kilpatrick, however, notes that most of these e¤orts were, “college mathematics courses retooled for teachers.
In the wake of these publications, there was much ado. Organizations dealing with other subject matter drafted their own standards: English and language arts, history and social science, science, geography, and the arts among them. 41 And an avalanche of reforms continued to accumulate throughout the late 1980s and 1990s: Goals 2000, New Standards, systemic reform initiatives. At the heart of 26 S C H O O L M AT H E M AT I C S A N D I T S C R I T I C S each was the rhetoric of A Nation at Risk, which called for higher, more rigorous standards for all American children.
We had reinforcement. We did it every day and I wouldn’t let some kids go out to recess until they got it. We did oral math. We broke them up into groups. We did whole group stu¤. It was everything. We had games, we did geometry. These kids came up from knowing nothing to being four or ﬁve years above grade level. But they knew math and they were interested. 3 Honig was on California’s State Board of Education in the 1970s. While a board member, he was active—aggressively so. According to some insiders, Honig ran for state superintendent because he was frustrated with the lack of responsiveness of earlier superintendents to his ideas.