15 – Needed: A Cognitive Fix for Math Standards

Posted below is an analysis of the alignment of the K-12 Common Core Math Standards (CCMS) (and state math standards similar to the Common Core) with the findings of recent cognitive research.

What does this have to do with Chemistry?  Chemistry is a quantitative science, and the goal of the ChemReview project since 2006 has been to help students with the math needed to succeed in quantitative science courses.  It was hoped that with the adoption in most states of CCMS-type standards, such help for students would no longer be needed, because students would arrive in first-year chemistry with the essential mastery of pre-requisite math fundamentals.  The analysis in the paper above finds this did not happen.  Though the CCMS are superior in some areas to previous math standards in most states, in many key areas the CCMS ask students to solve problems in ways that science says the human brain simply cannot do.

Click to access CCMS.pdf

Comments on the paper are most welcome.  If a comment form does not appear below this posting, click on the word “comment” below the title of this post.