Monday, September 30, 2013

No Child Left Behind

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) does not have an official position on the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirement of having all 8th grade students take Algebra, and having all high school students take Algebra II. They do encourage algebraic thinking to be taught in the younger grades, which are far different than requiring specific courses being taught in specific grades. NCTM encourages teachers to find out their students’ interests, and use this to teach algebra. For example, if their students like shopping, use money to assist with developing concepts. I use newspapers in my classroom to show how mathematics is used in the adult world. NCTM seems to support NCLB’s requirements for highly qualified teachers because it requires professional development. NCTM supports the use of technology, such as SmartBoards, if it effectively engages students in learning mathematics. Teachers obviously need to be properly trained to use this technology.