It’s estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. Some companies are trying to fill a void in American public education by teaching kids computer programming basics. The push comes amid projections that there will be far more tech sector jobs than computer science graduates to fill them.
Some educators are beginning to question the assumption that math is best taught in a linear sequence, focusing on patterns and structures instead of computations with elementary students.
For subjects like math and foreign language, which are traditionally taught in a linear and highly structured context, using more open-ended inquiry-based models can be challenging. But inquiry learning is based on the premise that, with a little bit of structure and guidance, teachers can support students to ask questions that lead them to learn those same important skills — in ways that are meaningful to them.
Giving children ample opportunities to develop sound investigative skills at an early age is essential to nurturing their ability to think critically and scientifically as they get older.
According to math educators, mathematical imagery is what students are missing, and what causes confusion. “Mathematics is a way to read the world of nature and technology around us. If a teacher can convey this, the entire world becomes an exciting textbook.”
How does a person fall in love with math? For too many, math class conjures up anxious worksheets filled with rows of unanswered problems. Students go along, seeming to perform the steps required — plug in the formulas, solve for x — without ever understanding what they’re doing, or why.
Aiming to get kids to understand and solve real-world math problems, one teacher developed a tool that uses Google Earth.
A recent report by the RAND Corporation, in partnership with the Department of Education, tries to provide an objective overview of blended learning. RAND conducted a national two-year randomized trial to determine whether a blended learning curriculum developed by Carnegie Learning, Inc. had a positive effect on middle and high school algebra students.