April 01, 2012
In this new century, expectations for math literacy (numeracy) are high. They have to be — numeracy is the gateway to critical jobs in science, engineering, and technology. Changes in the workplace have created changes in education. The National Mathematics Advisory Panel recognized that math education in the United States is “broken,” and outlined steps for ensuring that children have the math proficiency necessary for success in school and, ultimately, in the jobs of the future. Made up of mathematicians, education experts, and psychologists, the panel described the need to prepare students for algebra through a curriculum that simultaneously develops conceptual understanding, computational fluency, and problem-solving ability.
Just as important is family encouragement and support for children’s math education. Teachers can help by encouraging a positive environment for math learning at home. Through many easy, everyday activities, parents can help their children become math literate and well prepared for success in a changing world.