I can’t get the first sentence of my response out because it keeps sounding overly assumptive so
– granting that it’s probably incredibly hard to teach 30 kids math
– and further granting : not to mention the public education system in the US being a pretty uninspiring place to work with colleagues who may or may not be any good and who may or may not be happy doing what they are doing, plus weird regulatory stuff limiting teachers from risking anything beyond what they are supposed to do, or what can be blamed on pearson when it fails,
– And given that I’m not totally sure there is any better way to learn math and kinda wonder if I didn’t actually have One phenomenal Math teacher in highschool who I absolutely hated because I was certain he was wasting my time with his story problems and weird introductions (I should call that guy and ask what it’s really like),
It sure seems like math could be taught in a better way, probably by taking a statistics -first approach, Or more specifically taking a page from the growing trend in US higher Ed statistics courses to run the course without a calculator and without much calculation. The best schools in the country and the ones with enough money to fund a statistics department separate from math are the ones who do this best.
But my experience with this world says that math teachers who get it, who can really set a kids mind alight with the beauty of mathematics, do not fit in the system. Even in the aforementioned statistics courses in higher Ed, whenever universities attempt to use a "statistical analysis " approach as opposed to the quantitative, calculator driven traditional approach, they run into an issue where any adjunct who teaches the course and is a math professor, not a statistics professor of their departments grooming, has a visceral hatred for the course structure. Like having a linguist (to put it kindly, a grammar teacher seemed too harsh a metaphor) teach a lit course.
My math friend started teaching some calculus stuff to whoever wanted at work a couple years ago. Just chalk on a chalkboard and him describing all the weirdest stuff he could think of. He started coming prepared with little thirty minute Lectures. It was like watching a magician. It was incredibly fun.
I do think math profs from the applied to the theoretical are valuable contributors (as are linguists and grammar teachers!) But there seems to be a different than average Brain that survives in the system of math Ed today.
Still , math literacy, stat-way and quant-way, these are massive movements in higher education away from the traditional math approach so look those up if ur interested in whats happening.