Or apparently that's what prof. DeTurck of Penssylvania-U thinks.
DeTurck does not want to abolish the teaching of fractions and long division altogether. He believes fractions are important for high-level mathematics and scientific research. But it could be that the study of fractions should be delayed until it can be understood, perhaps after a student learns calculus, he said. Long division has its uses, too, but maybe it doesn't need to be taught as intensely.
Of course, like many others I believe this notion to be nuts. Decimals have no meaning unless you know what fractions are. It'll be like handing a bunch of powertools to a carpenters apprentice and asking him to build a house. Oh, you don't need to know what everything does, just get to work...
As a future maths teacher I'm scared by this idea. And it's not just limited to the US. A dutch prof by the name of Kees Hoogland shares DeTurck's opinion that kids should be learning less longhand maths and should instead be focusing on using the calculator. Why? Because they'd be stupid not to use the modern materials at their disposal. *sigh*
I've started a forum discussion about this, over at Ars. Obviously, it's gotten some pissed off responses ^_^
In response to my thread over at Ars, GwT has started a new thread asking how important math is in general.
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Well, that was a surprise! I was dicking around in Osiris, the online student management toolset at HU. Enrolling in a few classes, signing up for tests and term papers, just generally looking around and exploring.
After clicking the Results button I was greeted with a big list. But how is it possible that I already have grades?! I just started school a week ago!
Then I took a closer look at the dates. Apparently my student number isn't the only thing that carried over to my new college enrollment ^_^
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