The Reflective Educator

Education ∪ Math ∪ Technology

Menu Close

Clayton Christensen on the shortcomings of math education

"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.)