Columbus: Andrew Hacker on "The Math Myth"
Please join us on Thursday, October 13th at 7pm for a reading and discussion of The Math Myth: and Other STEM Delusions, with author Andrew Hacker.
The Math Myth starts with a simple question: why? As if a child asked you, “why do girls have longer hair?” You’d have to stretch your mind to come up with a convincing answer. In much the same vein, The Math Myth asks: why are we making every young American endure a full menu of mathematics, with no alternatives or exceptions? After analyzing an array of responses, the book concludes there are no convincing reasons for maintaining the prevailing regimen. Even worse, it has become a harsh and senseless barrier to diplomas and careers, suppressing opportunities, stifling creativity, and preventing millions of young people and adults from developing their true talents. The book scrutinizes widely held beliefs. Like the notion that mathematics sharpens the mind; that mastery of azimuths and asymptotes will be needed for most jobs; that the entire Common Core structure should be required of every student. The Math Myth warns that a frenzied emphasis on STEM diverts attention from crucial pursuits and is subverting the strengths and spirit of this country. The book proposes other options, including greater facility with figures, quantitative reasoning, and deciphering statistics. The Math Myth has already sparked anational conversation, not just about mathematics, but about the kind of people and society we want to be.
Andrew Hacker is the author of ten books and teaches both political science and mathematics at Queens College. He lives in New York City.