Thursday, January 20, 2011

Math Class Doesn't Have to Suck - Help for Not Very Good Math Teachers

"If the math curriculum wasn't so appalling and the teaching methods so atrocious," people like me wouldn't appreciate people like Vi Hart as much as we do. Vi Hart is a self-proclaimed mathmusician who's on a mission to help girls enjoy mathematics and even embrace being a little nerdy and smart. She recognizes that for most people, math class was, in her words, "fuzzy, unfocused, and all together not very good."

This is why after more than 12 years in math classes I was forced to take if I wanted to get the job that I have because I wasn't enough of a hot shot to get a waiver, I learned, well mathematically speaking, zero, ziltch, nada about math. What I did learn is that the way we teach math in the U.S. sucks about as much as the way we teach language, but that's fodder for another post.

As was recently reported in The New York Times Vi has created a series of videos, because "I want people to feel they can do this. People can. It’s mathematics that anyone can do.” Vi shares in her videos appreciation for math classes that don't bore students to death and suck as much as the classes that most of us experienced in school and left us with mathematical nightmares that still haunt us into adulthood.

If you teach math today, you don't have to suck anymore. Vi is here to help math teachers make math magical, musical and fun with her series of videos where you'll find the following.
If you're a student or have a child, share this post with your math teacher. If s/he won't watch, you can watch the videos yourself as they give you ideas for lots of fun things to do while sitting in a boring math class with a teacher more interested in having you drawing and label axis then explore the wonder and relevance of math.

This video will give you a flavor for her work.

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