Here’s an interesting article on elementary mathematics from the Washington Post: Elementary Math Grows Exponentially

The article speaks well of teachers in general, but says that there’s a lack of the deep understanding necessary to facilitate learning by all students in a typical classroom with so many levels of ability. Here’s the heart of the article:

Virginia Commonwealth University math professor William E. Haver, who is involved in the partnership, said elementary teachers need to know far more than the standard curriculum. With a depth of knowledge, teachers can help children understand relationships between numbers and solve problems in different ways. Without it, teachers often rely on memorization and aren’t well-equipped to help struggling students.

“Elementary math isn’t elementary,” Haver said. “There are a lot of deep ideas there. Usually, if a child doesn’t get the right answer, there’s a fair amount of good thinking along the way, but it got astray at some point. If you can pinpoint that problem, you’re better off.”