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What Is the Real Core of Your Elementary Math Curriculum?Copyright © Professor B Enterprises, Inc., 2000
As you know, traditional perspectives in mathematics education regard a "complete" textbook program as the core. We claim that a restructuring of the content of arithmetic that permits children to experience it as connected and flowing is the real core of the elementary mathematics program. If a textbook does not provide children such an experience of arithmetic, and if it does not provide teachers with consistently truthful/meaningful verbalizations (to foster the capacity of children's mental gifts for making arithmetical connections), then, in spite of its claim, it is not arithmetically complete. We claim that our materials are arithmetically complete.
Tradition regards arithmetic as a "branch" of the elementary math curriculum. We regard this as untrue. Arithmetic is no mere branch; it is the huge trunk from which the real branches grow. Topics such as time, money, measurement, problem solving (various levels) and so on, are the real branches of the elementary math curriculum, because each one requires a level of development up the arithmetical trunk for children to experience it meaningfully. Now if your pedagogy structures the content of arithmetic as connected and flowing (hence no gaps) would this not be the very core of the elementary math curriculum? My dictionary defines core as "the central or innermost part of a thing."
Teachers would logically tend to select the core first and the supplement afterward. Tradition regards us as a supplement. However, in the same way that the trunk precedes the branches, we believe that our pedagogy places us at the very core of the elementary math curriculum.
We are convinced that this new perspective on the core is the only viable pathway to the inevitable establishment of world class math in all the classrooms of our nation. Permit me to suggest that, given the establishment of the "proper" implementation structures for a Professor B project, any school system could perform, within three/four years, at the highest levels of mathematical achievement in the nation.
If you consider an implementation of our program, it would be necessary to select a textbook program that is more accelerated than most. School systems using our program teach arithmetic the "Professor B way" and use the textbooks for teaching the branches of the curriculum.