2 X 2 = 4: What is a times table?
Remember the days where we needed to learn our multiplication during math class. The basic multiplication, addition, and subtraction were mandatory for students to memorize without any use of technology. Along came the calculator. Of course, calculators were around back in the day, but it wasn’t common for a second grader to use it. What is common is the method of teaching math to students called ‘discovery learning’. Discovery learning encourages teachers to find a creative way to teach math to their students. However, based on studies, this take on math is not working effectively.
The research from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment was a huge eye opener to Canada. Our Canadian students scored low in math performance last December. The question is what happened. Why is the math education system not working? How can we approve this system?
Luckily, Ontario and Alberta are looking for a solution to change their curriculum. Both provinces notice that there is a need of change to the education system. According to Jeff Johnson, Alberta’s Education Minister, the curriculum should go back to basics of reciting the times table and learning basic math starting Fall 2014.
In fact, the only province that did not implement the discovery learning technique was Quebec. In Canada, Quebec students scored the highest in Canada compare to other provinces. We cannot only point fingers at the discovery learning technique for the poor results in Math, but also Canada needs to invest more training for Teachers. After all, math is the foundation of many of todays careers, such as culinary, finance, sciences.
The times table chart is still a great resource to teach children basic math problems. You can set a time with your kids a review the chart, or also there are many apps available of math quizzes that are great.
Happy Education Month!