Going Deep on the

– Problem & Solution –

The Math Education Crisis

Arithmetic:
Algebra rests on Advanced Arithmetic, which rests on Basic Arithmetic.

Most elementary school students who have average intelligence and come from homes that place at least some value on education are able to learn arithmetic. They might make mistakes in calculation, and they might not have the multiplication table fully memorized, but they understand the concepts. At the supermarket check stand, they understand that addition happens: the prices of all the items get added up to the total that must be paid.

Algebra is another matter entirely. The Middle 80% of students who understand arithmetic, have extreme difficulty with algebra.

Basic Arithmetic consists of the following:

  • Counting and whole numbers
  • Hindu–Arabic numerals (i.e., the way we write whole numbers)
  • Addition of whole numbers, including memorization of the addition table
  • Subtraction of whole numbers
  • Multiplication of whole numbers, including memorization of the multiplication table
  • Division of whole numbers, resulting in a whole quotient and a whole remainder (or no remainder)

Advanced Arithmetic consists of the following:

  • Prime numbers and prime factorization
  • Greatest common factor (GCF) and least common multiple (LCM)
  • Fractions, mixed numbers, decimals and percents (“FMND&P”)
  • Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing FMND&P
  • Comparing FMND&P (e.g., which is larger: 2/3 or 66.67%?)
  • Converting between FMND&P
  • Rounding off whole numbers and decimals.

Past and present math curricula

Before 1970, the math curriculum (through first-year algebra) went like this:

  1. Basic Arithmetic
  2. Advanced Arithmetic
  3. Algebra One

In the 1970s, “pre-algebra” was inserted, adding a year of unnecessary study between Advanced Arithmetic and Algebra:

  1. Basic Arithmetic
  2. Advanced Arithmetic
  3. “pre-algebra”
  4. Algebra One

However, “pre-algebra” does NOTHING to enable the Middle 80% to make it up Algebra Mountain.

AlgebraVictory! curriculum

AlgebraVictory! does the opposite. Students spend less time than they would, even in the pre-1970 math curriculum, because (a) “pre-algebra” is eliminated; and (b) learning Advanced Arithmetic is incorporated into AlgebraVictory!. Hence, the new curriculum is:

  1. Basic Arithmetic
  2. AlgebraVictory!

With Mark’s superior teaching methods, it is easier for kids to learn FMND&P while they are learning algebra. This is especially true for word problems. This takes much less time for students (and parents), it all makes far more sense, and it’s more interesting. In AlgebraVictory!, students will gain a deeper understanding of fractions and decimals and their profound meaning in our lives.

Explore the other “Go Deep” pages…

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1

Arithmetic

You  Are  Here

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2

Algebra Mountain

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3

No Trail

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4

Establishment Resistance

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5

Common Core

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a mega-success.