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Math Education Reform That Makes Sense

In a recently posted TED Talk, mathematician and magician Arthur Benjamin says the K12 math curriculum is all wrong.

Instead of building a pyramid with Calculus at the top, students should be getting a good foundation in Statistics.

… I’m here to say, as a professor of mathematics, very few people use Calculus in a conscious, meaningful way in their day to day lives.

On the other hand, Statistics, that’s a subject that you could, and should, use on a daily basis.

I think if our students, our high school students, if all of the American citizens, knew about probability and statistics, we wouldn’t be in the economic mess we’re in today.

Listen to the professor. His talk is only 3 minutes but he makes far more sense than most math education “experts” you’ll hear.

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1 Comment

  1. I think he’s quite right. It’s more important that we learn these things that we can hear in news from time to time. Calculus is very useful in the study of many subjects, and good thought exercise for those who don’t directly need it, but it’s more important to know stuff that we use every day (arithmetics for dealing with money, for example) and what we see from time to time (when newspaper articles give stats, or even just for better understanding when you watch sports).

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