"The curricular activities are designed to make students feel like failures." Clayton Christensen

When Christensen talks about designing things as an interesting activity for students, I think it’s pretty clear that this is a real world application of mathematics. This problem he talks about, where students have to first learn a bunch of mathematics before doing anything really interesting or powerful with it, is not just confined to the United States. It’s a problem here in Canada too. I’m sure it’s a problem all over the world.

We can design curriculum so that students get to work on really interesting problems. In fact, it’s been done.

(I recommend checking out a series of textbooks published by the **Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications**. I’ve looked through the books, and while they won’t replace a good teacher searching for resources, they are a terrific way to start with real problems and look at solving those problems using mathematics.)

## Andy Rundquist says:

Cool video. It reminds me a little of this great essay by a mathematician comparing how we teach fine arts to how we teach math: http://www.maa.org/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf

February 9, 2011 — 2:29 pm

## David Wees says:

Yeah, A Mathematicians Lament is a must read for mathematics educators.

February 9, 2011 — 2:31 pm

## Shirley Landrum says:

I agree with your concept of merging the skills together. If this is done more often students would be more interesting in learning math and can succeed in math. Some teachers have the attitude you either know math or you don’t, which can frighten students. Math is my weakest subject and I disliked math for years. I had a professor in college who is an awesome professor who explain the concept of algebra and worked with me diligent. I realized at this point I didn’t dislike math, I just didn’t understand the concepts of the subject. Thank you sharing this video. I am Shirley Landrum a student at the University of South Alabama. My contact information for twitter is sdlandrum40 My URL class blog is ShirleyLandrum’sEDM310

February 9, 2011 — 9:53 pm