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Experiencing School Mathematics: Traditional and Reform Approaches To Teaching and Their Impact on Student Learning, Revised and Expanded Edition (Studies in Mathematical Thinking and Learning Series) Hardcover – September 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0805840049 ISBN-10: 0805840044 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Mathematical Thinking and Learning Series
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; Revised edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805840044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805840049
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,775,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin P. Cohen on May 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
The book decribes a study of the learning in two different schools in England, both from similar working class socioeconomic groups. One school teaches mathematics in a traditional manner and the other uses a progressive approach.

In the progressive school, students of mixed abilities are taught in the same class. The major source of learning is based on open ended projects. Although each student is required to turn in an individual project, the students are free to work together. The atmosphere at first glance appears chaotic. The noise level is somewhat high due to all the chatter. Many students may be talking about topics unrelated to their assignment. Any adults entering the class, whether an official visitor or the principal, are routinely ignored.

By all measures the students in the progressive school learn more. They do better on standardized tests and on special tests of the author's creation. They enjoy math more and have a better understanding of what math is about. They perceive a connection between the math they learn in school and real world problems, while the students in the traditional school fail to see the connection.

All of this suggests the superiority of progressive teaching. Before reading the book I was already disposed to believing this, so it takes some effort to step back and question just what was shown. Although the book goes into great detail describing the testing methodology it is not clear just what was taught in the two schools. How much beyond arithmetic did the schools go? There is an indication that students were taught how to plug numbers into formulas. How much were they taught about formulating word problems into algebraic form and then solving them?
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