Algebra, Equations, Inequalities, Graphs, Geometry, Trigonometry, Fractions, Decimals, Pythagoras, Properties, Ratios, Probability, Construction, Factorisation ………

**Homework, Revision, Exams – HELP!**

Do you want to run and hide when faced with Mathematics? Are your grades dropping with every new topic? Do you really wish you could learn to love it?

Then Artfeedsmia Math Tutor can make that wish come true! Join the thousands of students around the world using this math tutorial program, where you can listen and watch the lesson unfold in a step-by-step explanation by the acclaimed academic and exceptional communicator Pat Murray, in the comfort of your home.

Our program has been approved as the authorized affiliate to introduce this math tutorial program worldwide. We have successfully helped to deploy this program to schools and individuals all across Europe (including Malta and the UK), India, Asia, South America and South Africa.

Available online it is already being used in schools throughout the UK, Australia, USA and Canada with great success. It has proven to raise grades even for those students who had completely given up on the subject. We are working together with MyCareerTools to develop their practice tests for the GED exam: http://mycareertools.com/ged-math-practice-test/

There are 480 tutorials, each from 2 to 10 minutes long. (Please refer to the full list of lessons attached). Each lesson unfolds in a step-by-step explanation by an acclaimed academic and exceptional communicator Pat Murray, who has over 15 years teaching experience. It was his concern for students who could not grasp math concepts in the classroom that led him to form a team to develop this multi-media program.

The student can learn at her/his personal pace as she/he may rewind, fast forward or pause the tutor as often as need be. At the end of each tutorial the student may print out the worksheets, key in the answers and it will be automatically corrected. During this process, there will be an ongoing progress report which will highlight areas where the student needs further practice and study. The student may also print out the summary notes at the end of each tutorial.

Many parents with children in secondary school, both in Southeast Michigan, where I live, and around the country, have recently found themselves having to cope with the minutiae of math curricula in the schools. This is a consequence of the sea change in the way math is taught in many schools, which is largely the result of the promulgation of new standards by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the subsequent efforts by math educators to implement them.

I have taught mathematics at the university level for the past thirty years, and during the past eighteen months I have participated in many school board meetings or meetings of parents, teachers and administrators in my own and neighboring school districts, at which these “reform math” curricula have been discussed. As a result of my experiences, I would like to offer a primer to parents on how to cope with this complicated and often frustrating situation.

Try to get in on the ground floor. These new programs arrive with much fanfare and hype. There is always a period beforehand, however, during which they are being considered; try to be a part of such deliberations and make your views known.

Try to obtain choice. My main concern about these programs is that, in an effort to keep everyone entertained, they tend to turn off the good students who would do well if given the traditional math. Try to keep the traditional approaches around as an option. This is currently an issue at several high schools in my area, which use Core-Plus (out of Western Michigan University) for all students, and at a middle school, which uses IMaST (out of Illinois State University) exclusively. By traditional approaches I don’t mean just drill. There have to be applications in order to make things meaningful.

Beware of fixes. The first bone that administrators and teachers throw to concerned parents is that they are going to fix things – in the case of Core-Plus by adding more algebra. The problem with this is that the new approach – modeling and simulation, heavy use of graphing calculators, emphasis on real world problems, lots of subjects mixed together, cooperative learning – is in many ways antithetical to the classical approach – mathematics as a deductive discipline, theory before applications, mastering subjects one-by-one, students working individually. So trying to have these approaches presented side-by-side can create confusion, if not chaos. It is better to have the two approaches separate but both available.

Beware of claims of higher order thinking and problem solving. The claim is made that algebra drill is merely rote learning and that the new methods promote thinking as a means of problem solving. The problem with this is that the baby is being thrown out with the bath water. Algebra is needed precisely so that it can be used as a tool in solving problems. Solving problems in the abstract can be quite time consuming. There needs to be a context, and that is what algebra provides, once it is mastered.

Beware of claims that these new programs are a better preparation for college math than the traditional ones. There is reform math at the college level, to be sure, but it is a much different animal. While there is cooperative learning and an emphasis on real world problems, there is no integration of subjects – in fact reform calculus has fewer topics than the standard variety – and algebra is not jettisoned in favor of graphing calculators. I should add that graphing calculators are fast becoming a staple in almost all college calculus courses, but in their appropriate place as a tool, not as a substitute for thinking.

Don’t be bamboozled by test results. You will be presented with a mind-boggling array of test results, which are offered as proof that the new methods are better. Well, as they say, there are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics. In any event, the purveyors of math reform are busy getting the standardized tests fixed, so that they are more friendly to their approach. By the time all this gets sorted out, your child will be long gone from the program, so stick to your guns and don’t let your child be too much of a guinea pig.

Stand up for your rights. We elect the school boards, and they pick the administrators and teachers, who in turn choose the curriculum. This does not mean that we thereby abdicate all rights to have a say, especially in a situation like this, where the change is so drastic. The teachers are in many cases happier with the new methods, I suppose because there is less frustration on their part and more students appear to be engaged, but the schools still have a responsibility to those students who need to (and want to) get serious about mathematics.

Stay informed. There have been many articles in leading newspapers and magazines about the new new math and the resulting conflicts, especially in California. This includes changes in the elementary school math curriculum, which I haven’t touched on here. Some parents and scientists in California have established a Web site called Mathematically Correct. There are many other Web sites, such as MAA Online, maintained by the Math Association of America, and that of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics which can provide useful information.

And one more thing — do not to confuse math education people with mathematicians. Generally speaking, in colleges and universities the former deal with K-12 curricular matters and train school math teachers; the latter prove theorems, teach college math courses, and train Ph.D.’s. The former are mainly responsible for the current math reform; the latter should be able to help you deal with it.