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The role of long division in K-12 curriculum paper

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Interesting discussion on why understanding long division is important.


This is a scary read




These are old articles but the points raised are still relevant.

This one is not about long division. It is a long interesting read

"The mathematics pre-service teachers need to know" ftp://math.stanford.edu/pub/papers/milgram/FIE-book.pdf

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I just skimmed these, as I'm not sure I have the brainpower at this time of night to grasp the details, LOL!!


But... it is scary. The basics of arithmetic, which include long division, are essential if a student is going on to higher math. And without students capable of mastering higher level math... well, we keep losing the STEM race in the world.


I know those articles are a few years old now, but I don't that the situation has changed much.

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Thanks, Arcadia, as always for bringing up interesting topics and references.


I am always perturbed when I read of educators who would replace the teaching of a standard algorithm, in the elementary grades, with calculators. That such people can determine the content of textbooks and curricula flabbergasts me.


I can understand people who recommend teaching alternative algorithms, e.g. lattice multiplication, but I can't view them as replacing the standard algorithm. Now, I've heard of students who understood better using the alternative, but it seems (this is totally anecdotal) that the students and teachers I met were less prone to making errors using the standard. I.e. there is a reason why a certain algorithm has become the standard.


In my ideal world:

1. Teacher introduces a problem, and how we solve it using the standard algorithm. Asks the student: do you understand it?

2. Teacher introduces other ways of solving this class of problem (MEP, math circle questions) - do you see why this works? Math is cool!

But of course, this takes time, almost a luxury..


Third article - good read, the first part is like Ma Liping's book (in fact she gets a mention), and the part I'm reading (I'm only 1/3 down) talks about the problem of imprecision in mathematical texts. I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

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