Friday, March 9, 2007

"Tercomania and Everyday Math" – 42 years ago

Those of us over 50 may remember the “New Math”. The “Tercomania” video Leonie posted on this blog yesterday recalls a wonderful song by Tom Lehrer. Lehrer was a brilliant political satirist in the ‘60’s who had actually once been a math teacher. The math problems he went through in his 1965 song “New Math” must have served as inspiration for “Everyday Math”. That's the problem we satirists face - people take us seriously and steal our ideas. (Hear that, DOE? I'm still waiting for that $150,000 job offer writing your press releases!) You can hear “New Math” at the following link: Go to
http://faculty.ivc.edu/rzucker/Math%20Songs.htm and click on the "New Math" wav or mp3 file. (The other songs on the page are good too).

1 comment:

Daniel Millstone said...

The problem with TERC, as I've seen it, occurs when it is the only math method used. Our kids seem, to me, to differ in their needs. Some need the concrete experience TERC offers, others need a more abstract, now forbidden approach. At a middle school parent meeting a year or so ago, a math teacher was using a book I like (A non-TERC book integrated Mathematics). "Don't tell," she begged "or I'll be fired."