Developing ‘Patient problem-solvers’

I stumbled upon Dan Meyer’s TED Talk about teaching math.  It is the perfect complement to my last post about Wolfram’s TED Talk.  Meyer (a great presenter – wow, what a difference presentation and humor make) builds the case for re-defining math and developing students who are “patient problem-solvers”.  He, like Wolfram, believes that more emphasis needs to be place on formulating problems based on real world scenarios.  He shows how textbooks do the exact opposite.  In textbooks, math is served up, step by step, in neat little slices so students really don’t need to do any higher-level thinking but instead just complete computations.  Watch his TED Talk.  It will not disappoint.

A couple of great quotes from Meyer:

  • “I teach high school math. I sell a product to a market that doesn’t want it but is forced by law to buy it.”
  •  “Be less helpful.”

Check out his blog, too.  Cool stuff!