Re: Teacher adds new math resource for Greater Victoria schools (Oak Bay News, Wednesday, Jan. 24)
Thank you for publishing an article that focuses on the work of someone qualified, knowledgeable and experienced in developing mathematical literacy, and that informs the public. Too often we are subjected to the rhetoric of those who believe that success in mathematics comes from the memorization of basic facts, such as reciting numbers in order and multiplication tables, and algorithms related to making calculations. Formal instruction in mathematics starts with what is visual or concrete, then moves to the symbolic and abstract. Rote learning may lead to some expediency and accuracy, but not necessarily understanding.
The ill-informed would have us believe that our schools are failing in mathematics instruction by not focusing on lower order thinking skills such as rote learning and memorization. Thank goodness they are not. Otherwise our high school graduates would not go on to success in institutes of higher learning and careers where the understanding and application of mathematical principles is essential, as is now the case.