Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday May 10, 2018
Killing Discovery Math
The Ontario Progressive Conservative party’s plan to scrap the province’s mathematics curriculum isn’t the answer to declining test scores among elementary school-aged children, a Toronto educator says.
“This is a very nuanced conversation and I think it gets really heated,” said Vanessa Vakharia, founder and CEO of The Math Guru, a math and science tutoring service based uptown, on Wednesday morning.
“I think it’s really easy to want to point to one thing and to place blame,” she continued, referencing PC Leader Doug Ford’s opposition to what is often called “discovery math.”
The concept, which places an emphasis on experimentation and problem solving rather than rote learning, is at the core of Ontario’s curriculum. It has come under increasing scrutiny as standardized test scores in math have steadily declined in Ontario in the last decade.
In a campaign speech on Tuesday, Ford said a PC government would develop a curriculum focused on “getting back to basics” in the areas of reading, writing and math.
“Kids used to learn math by doing things like memorizing a multiplication table, and it worked. Kathleen Wynne scrapped that. Instead, our kids are left with experimental discovery math,” he said. (Source: CBC)