PA Coalition for World Class Math

Professors urge move toward traditional math (Canada) (11/29/2011)

Fight for old-style math education, group urges

Posted: Nov 29, 2011 8:15 PM CST

A new group is urging parents to fight for a more traditional approach to math education in schools.

Several university professors in Saskatchewan and Manitoba have banded together, believing there really is strength in numbers, to lobby education ministers to move away from a new style of math education that eschews rote-learning.

The professors, from the Universities of Regina, Manitoba and Winnipeg believe the quality of math instruction is deteriorating and point to poorly trained teachers and a confusing math curriculum.

Their new organization calls itself the Western Initiative for Strengthening Education in Math and can be found online at

Anna Stokke, from the University of Winnipeg, said educators in the United States recently reverted to a more traditional approach.

"They went down this road in the U.S. several years ago," Stokke explained to CBC News Tuesday. "Mathematicians and scientists and parents complained loudly and now they've put those [traditional methods] back in the curriculum."

The invites parents to sign their names to a petition calling for changes.

She said if the response is strong, she and her colleagues will take the concerns to their provincial education ministers.