If we could snap our fingers and change the way math and science are taught in U.S. schools, most of us would. The shortcomings of the current approach are clear. Subjects that are vibrant in the minds of experts become lifeless by the time they’re handed down to students. It’s not uncommon to hear kids in Algebra 2 ask, “When are we ever going to use this?” and for the teacher to reply, “Math teaches you how to think,” which is true — if only it were taught that way.
To say that this is now changing is to invite an eye roll. For a number of entrenched reasons, from the way teachers are trained to the difficulty of agreeing on what counts in each discipline, instruction in science and math is remarkably resistant to change.
That said, we’re riding the next big wave in K-12 science and math education in the United States. The main events are a pair of highly visible but often misunderstood documents — the Common Core math standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) — that, if implemented successfully, will boldly remake the way math and science are taught. Both efforts seek to recast instruction in the fundamental ideas and perspectives that animate the two fields.
John David Jackson died last Summer - a remembrance by Chris Quigg. A noteworthy theoretical physicist who is much more famous for his E&M text. The problem sets were famous and known by a generation of physics grad students. Legend has it that frustrated students would call him in the middle of the night...
Normally I'm allergic to articles and books by Malcolm Gladwell... I'll make an exception here..
“In the early years, the thing that’s happening now would not have been imaginable,” Morse says. “This idea of using the rankings as a benchmark, college presidents setting a goal of ‘We’re going to rise in the U.S. News ranking,’ as proof of their management, or as proof that they’re a better school, that they’re a good president. That wasn’t on anybody’s radar. It was just for consumers.”
Over the years, Morse’s methodology has steadily evolved. In its current form, it relies on seven weighted variables:
1. Undergraduate academic reputation, 22.5 per cent
2. Graduation and freshman retention rates, 20 per cent