What’s Sophisticated about Elementary Mathematics? Plenty, writes Hung-Hsi Wu in American Educator.
. . . starting no later than fourth grade, math should be taught by math teachers (who teach only math). Teaching elementary math in a way that prepares students for algebra is more challenging than many people realize. Given the deep content knowledge that teaching math requires—not to mention the expertise that teaching reading demands—it’s time to reconsider the generalist elementary teacher’s role.
Many elementary teachers weren’t good in math and don’t like it.
In affluent, highly educated Palo Alto, 57 percent of parents provide extra help in math to their elementary school children, a survey found. Parents pay for Kumon classes, Score’s computer-assisted learning or other forms of tutoring. Despite protests from some parents, the district has adopted Everyday Math. There are reports more parents are hiring tutors to make sure their children learn the basics.