Pathways to Math Literacy

Pathways to Math Literacy

A Letter from Authors Dave Sobecki and Brian Mercer

“Why do I need to know this?” This question is the bane of the math teacher’s existence. Of course, we know that the benefits of mathematical education go far beyond using specific procedures: It’s about exercising the brain, learning problem-solving skills, and understanding the importance of being numerate in our society. But what if we considered that question in a deeper way: what do non-STEM students really need? And what if we agreed to move past the “this is important because it’s important” mentality, and thought about the topics and activities that will best serve a group of students that are, for the most part, poorly served by traditional developmental algebra?

Our project is the result of attempting to do just that. It’s not about watering down the curriculum in an attempt to pass more students. It’s about providing non-STEM students with an alternate pathway that will get them into the college-credit math courses they need without getting trapped behind the roadblocks that the traditional developmental math track has become. Most importantly, it’s about focusing on context and critical thinking, and showing these students why the math they’ve struggled with for so many years is relevant in their lives.

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Pathways to Math Literacy

A Letter from Authors Dave Sobecki and Brian Mercer

“Why do I need to know this?” This question is the bane of the math teacher’s existence. Of course, we know that the benefits of mathematical education go far beyond using specific procedures: It’s about exercising the brain, learning problem-solving skills, and understanding the importance of being numerate in our society. But what if we considered that question in a deeper way: what do non-STEM students really need? And what if we agreed to move past the “this is important because it’s important” mentality, and thought about the topics and activities that will best serve a group of students that are, for the most part, poorly served by traditional developmental algebra?

Our project is the result of attempting to do just that. It’s not about watering down the curriculum in an attempt to pass more students. It’s about providing non-STEM students with an alternate pathway that will get them into the college-credit math courses they need without getting trapped behind the roadblocks that the traditional developmental math track has become. Most importantly, it’s about focusing on context and critical thinking, and showing these students why the math they’ve struggled with for so many years is relevant in their lives.

Continue Reading


Pathways to Math Literacy

A Letter from Authors Dave Sobecki and Brian Mercer

“Why do I need to know this?” This question is the bane of the math teacher’s existence. Of course, we know that the benefits of mathematical education go far beyond using specific procedures: It’s about exercising the brain, learning problem-solving skills, and understanding the importance of being numerate in our society. But what if we considered that question in a deeper way: what do non-STEM students really need? And what if we agreed to move past the “this is important because it’s important” mentality, and thought about the topics and activities that will best serve a group of students that are, for the most part, poorly served by traditional developmental algebra?

Our project is the result of attempting to do just that. It’s not about watering down the curriculum in an attempt to pass more students. It’s about providing non-STEM students with an alternate pathway that will get them into the college-credit math courses they need without getting trapped behind the roadblocks that the traditional developmental math track has become. Most importantly, it’s about focusing on context and critical thinking, and showing these students why the math they’ve struggled with for so many years is relevant in their lives.

Continue Reading


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