As a country, we make a lot of blunders, both publicly and privately. It’s no surprise, of course, because our population is 311,000,000 strong. Even if each person only made one-half of a mistake every other day, that would still be, like, so many mistakes being made. I might have a more exact number, but I’ve never been that good at math, and I am far from being alone in this country. As it happens, the teaching methods one learns by may play a large role in this.
A study published in the journal Educational Psychologist, itself taken from two previous studies, sheds some solar-powered calculator light on the steep downward spiral that this country’s mathematics education has taken. The subjects were community college students who placed into a remedial math class, so these aren’t just your everyday village idiots. But these tests weren’t the standardized standards either, and traded learned knowledge for applied knowledge. Traditional math problems can be solved purely by memorizing formulas and procedures, but when these formulas and procedures are themselves the subject of questioning, the understanding falls apart.