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In learning math, there’s more than one way to the correct answer

Sparta Independent – Pamela Chergotis

Oh, the stress of learning math! It’s all so black and white — there are right answers, and there are wrong answers. Those more comfortable in the gray area in-between often find themselves afflicted with palpitations and sweaty palms. As the French writer Stendhal observed, “Mathematics allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness.” Getting math right is a high-stakes proposition in our increasingly STEM-obsessed world. And how to teach it has long bedeviled educators. The pendulum has swung back and forth many times between a conceptual approach that emphasizes critical thinking, to one more grounded in the memorization of formulas; from the academic needs of the college-bound student, to the needs demanded by everyday life. Local teachers incorporate some of each, all while keeping a firm eye on the human element. (more)

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