STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Why Do Americans Stink at Math?


Why Do Americans Stink at Math? is a terrific piece penned by Elizabeth Green. Here’s a great summary of the article from a Facebook friend of mine:
Phenomenal article. Japanese math skills moving ahead of our own, due in large part to teaching methods developed in America, but which we have failed to implement. Allowing teachers to observe one another, open discussion of teaching techniques. Bringing parents up to speed along with students. Teaching the “why” instead of just how to get the answer. A great read!
Elizabeth Green has a book, Building a Better Teacher, that will be published on August 4th. The article is an excerpt from the book. 

Author: bargerj

I am a literacy coach in North Carolina. I blog at NC Teacher Stuff and write children's books.

2 thoughts on “Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

  1. Great article! The math part makes so much sense to me. My son was taught a saying “Dead monkeys smell bad…” to go through the steps of long division and floundered because he had absolutely no understanding of why he was doing the steps.

    (You might be interested in this earlier article at Wired Magazine about a teacher in Mexico using a similar system to the Japanese and having his students achieve amazing results

    I was also taken by the Japanese reaction to how silent our classrooms are. In my experience, sometimes a lot more learning goes on in a noisy, and even chaotic environment (although not for a subset of introverts – a whole different topic).