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Recent comments

  • Mary Keats
    October 24, 2013 - 11:52

    Thank you so much for this wonderful article. You could not have written it better. We have a child in grade 6 and grade 4. Math is a struggle every day for them and us. I will be sharing this post wherever I can and lets hope that this is the beginning of a positive change. Hats off to you

  • Rebecca
    October 13, 2013 - 20:31

    This is basically the same math that we did in elementary school and now beginning Post Secondary education I find the math excruciatingly difficult, even after finishing Grade 12 with a high math average. They expect you to enter post secondary and not be able to use your calculator and rely on mental math, which I had not done since grade 7 or 8 and I was NEVER good at because of these ridiculous ways of learning. I would never ever be able to pursue a career in science because of this, and it is so disappointing. To this day, I do not know my multiplication table.. and trust me, I have tried.

  • Cate
    October 11, 2013 - 15:20

    Old math has gotten us pretty far... The iPhone I'm typing on is proof that the old methods work.... Why change for the sake of change??

  • Jennifer
    October 11, 2013 - 12:08

    I agree 100%. My son is only scraping by in his math and that is with a tutor that I have to pay for twice a week. In grade 5 I realized that I could no longer help him with the math and that he needed help. It makes no sense to me that now in grade 8 that he can't do some of the basic math skills that I feel will be important in everyday life. Why did we have to adopt this new curriculum? What was wrong with the old one? I think kids today who have dreams for their futures will be greatly disappointed when it comes time to do their post secondary education and are turned down because they just don't have the marks to get in.

  • Frank
    October 11, 2013 - 09:50

    "University professors are finding that students beginning post-secondary study lack the basic skills required to succeed in first-year calculus programs." I felt that I should point out that this issue, and the "math placement test" and remedial math courses instituted by MUN in response, is from the days of the "old math". Student performance in first-year math at the university level was pitiful long before you folks had a scapegoat.

  • kathleen simms
    October 11, 2013 - 06:52

    I totally agree with this article. I have a son in grade 3 and it scares me to think that as a parent we are not going to be able to help my child with homework. The way the schools are teaching our kids compared to when we were kids is so completely different. This new math is so out there that it don't even make sense. Math is suppose to be about numbers.

  • Joanne
    October 10, 2013 - 22:55

    Very well said, Trevor. Now if we could only get the proper people to listen and do something about this major problem. We have young adults coming out of high school today who have a very difficult time doing basic math, cannot spell and know very little about grammar. These things should have been taught at the elementary school level, not in post-secondary institutions. I understand the dependence on technology for the future, but we must be able to work with the basics first.

  • Concerned Parent
    October 10, 2013 - 14:09

    This article is absolutley spot on. I have 2 boys that struggle with these stupid concepts yet when I show them my methods as taught in school 20 years ago they have no problem understanding. My oldest son wrote a long division test in grade 5 and got 0 because he did not use the methods taught in class. It didn't matter that all his answers were correct and that he understood how he arrived at those answers. I did advanced math in high school and I can tell you that I sometimes struggle helping my youngest son with elementary math. I have to hire tutors for my grade 11 student. It's insane not all kids are abstract thinkers and forcing this math program down their throats instead of focusing on the basics is setting them up for serious consequences when they get to the university phase. Not to mention limiting their career choices because they think they are no good in math!!

  • Lost
    October 10, 2013 - 07:42

    I have a child in grade six, and they can come up with the answers most of the time in Math but having to explain how they reached the answer is a problem and as a result of this has lost marks. When I explained how I got the answer with a simple way like I was taught in school some 32 yrs ago, the look on their face was "OMG that is so easy". Maybe there should be more in school for spelling, grammer and less on how to draw to figure out your math answer. Really if these children go on the become builders and have to know math to cut lumber say....will they have to draw boxes on the 2x4's? The education system need to help our children, not mess them up.

  • julie ferrlett
    October 10, 2013 - 07:08

    we need a change in the math program here. math is math and english is english it seems that the math program is trying to be an english program.

  • Bev
    October 09, 2013 - 18:54

    I agree 100% with this article. We just scraped through grade 5 math last year. My own mind was boggled trying to help my child understand the concept after concept of long division. It had me so frazzled that I temporarily forgot how to do long division correctly - the old fashioned way! Things really do need to change.

  • Colin
    October 09, 2013 - 18:46

    I look forward to the day when our mathematical education is so strong that every province can score above the national average.

  • Tanya
    October 09, 2013 - 18:41

    A+ article. I completely agree with everything that was said. God help us if changes are not made.

  • Linda
    October 09, 2013 - 16:59

    I totally agree!!!

  • Mike
    October 09, 2013 - 16:23

    Excellent commentary. Congrats to the teachers and folks at the Dept. of Education for wasting our money! They are more concerned with making sure they get home early and have no extra duties to perform after 3pm. This article emphasizes on only one aspect of change that has had a negative affect on our children's education. There are plenty more where this came from.

    • Miss
      November 14, 2013 - 17:42

      Mike, teachers did not create this math. Most teachers I know do not agree with this Math. I have children of my own and worry about the impact this Math will have on their understanding. And if you know any teachers that do not have any work associated with our profession after 3 o'clock please point them in my direction so I can ask them what the secret is. Many teachers volunteer our lunches and evenings for sports, tutoring and extra-curricular activities.

  • Laura
    October 09, 2013 - 15:35

    As a teacher, I agree that changes in curriculum are frustrating for students and parents, but please don't assume as Neil said that "virtually all focus is on keeping the teachers happy." Curriculum changes are equally just as frustrating for us. We're the ones who have to learn the new, confusing and seemingly nonsensical methods, and then try to teach it to students. Despite what people may think, teachers don't get to simply pick and choose what we want to teach. Everything is given to us and we're told "teach it." The people who decide on the new curriculum will never have to teach it, which makes matters worse. Us classroom teachers make NONE of these decisions, and all of the anger and frustration from students and parents is taken out on us, unfairly.

  • Neil
    October 09, 2013 - 13:44

    Excellent article. Our education is failing students because virtually all focus in on keeping the teachers happy and not what matters most, the quality of education.

  • Gord
    October 09, 2013 - 11:31

    Remember when we could do many problems on one sheet of paper. Seems like you can only get one problem per sheet now. So much for saving trees.

  • SayWhat
    October 09, 2013 - 10:47

    This new math is a fiasco and we should be taking a page of the Japanese. The BBC reported back in August that schools in Japan are bringing back the abacus. The old math instrument makes students use their brains, eyes, ears and fingertips. Response has been very favourable.

  • Melissa
    October 09, 2013 - 08:16

    Having taught hundreds of students in Memorials Foundation Math program I can attest that there are many 18 year olds smart enough to have entered MUN who can not subtract 7 from 200. Imagine the embarrassment of a first year student at Memorial when they try to defend how they managed to get it wrong. As you move through life if you need to sit there and draw out blocks to figure out simple multiplication of two digit numbers how do you have working mental space to compute the actual problem!

    • Kimberly
      October 09, 2013 - 18:04

      I totally agree with this article! The math curriculum has changed so much even from when I went to school! It is so hard to sit down with your children and not know how to explain a simple math problem if they ask you a question about it!

  • Joanne
    October 09, 2013 - 06:28

    I totally agree with this assessment of the current Math. My daughter had a substitute teacher the other day in grade 9 who had no idea how to teach the math to the kids and he is a new younger teacher! These kids cannot do long division or even figure out how much tax is on a bought item without using a calculator! Kindergarten to grade six should concentrate on memorization and know how! And then as they get older explain your answer would be easier to explain! With all the complaints from teachers and parents the higher ups need to do their own math!

    • Byron
      October 13, 2013 - 14:41

      Have to agree. Grade 12 math seems more geared towards teaching a student to be a 'bookie" in life rather than preparing them for real life, let alone University calculus. Pages full of ‘possibility’ questions, card game models, etc. What real job wants to know possibilities? If you are an accountant or business or engineer person you better give the exact number. As we over complicate math and turn it into a guessing game we are turning students off from math all together.