That's exactly how I feel too. We have some really low performing math scores at my school, because the teachers don't teach them the logic and mathematical-based thinking behind it, so the kids aren't learning the material-- they're simply trying to memorize how to do it, and you can't do that with math.Nyaliva wrote:See, I think maths is the same but different. Teachers think a greater exposure to the material will yield a better understanding but it's not the sums they should be exposing kids to, it's the logic behind them. I think I can safely say the whole reason I'm any good at maths is that I did puzzles and brainteasers in my spare time that required logic to solve them and as a result I came to understand not what to think when presented a maths problem, but how to think and that's the exposure most kids miss and so, to paraphrase you Beagle, they never move beyond picture books and so their understanding never improves.
For example, if I said, "Please foil (x+2)(x-3) for me," guys would know that I mean to multiply the term out, by order of first, outside, inside, last. When I was a math tutor last year, I helped out some of the younger students who unfortunately had one of our worst math teachers. When I told the girl she needed to "foil" the terms, she looked at me like I had two heads. Her teacher hadn't taught them any reason to what they were doing, she had just been pointing to each term and saying, "What is x times x?" and so on. And don't get me started on negative numbers.
Luckily for me, I took advanced math (I took Algebra 1 in the 8th grade) so I've had the only good math teacher in the school, save for my geometry class (that teacher was really good but made the class overly complicated) and my pre-calculus class (this teacher left after I had her, and while she was a good teacher, you don't always need to assign 30 problems of homework).
I've had the same math teacher for Algebra 2, AP Calculus AB, and AP Calculus BC (which is four semesters).