Series: Hear from the Experts

Mathematical Reasoning Left Out of Classrooms

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Phil Daro compares a math classroom in the United States with one in Japan. Students in the United States are asked to do many more problems and thus spend much less time per problem. Overall, he argues, this has a negative effect on overall learning. Daro also highlights some “tricks” taught in United States classrooms that are great at “answer-getting” but that do not enforce any mathematical reasoning.

What are they doing after [they find] the answer? They’re learning mathematics. We’re skipping that part.

Phil Daro was a part of the team that developed the Common Core State Standards for mathematics. He is Site Director of the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) at the San Francisco Unified School District and has worked with the University of California in directing large-scale teacher professional development programs.

This presentation took place on August 12, 2014, as a part of the Summer P12 Mathematics Institute, an event put on by Chicago Public Schools, DePaul University, and Erikson Institute. The purpose of the event was to build and expand capacity to provide high quality mathematics instruction in alignment with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) in networks, schools, and classrooms.