Undergrad Physics Major Offers Smart Perspective on Shortcomings of HS Math

UNDERGRAD UNDERSTANDING: Alex Reinhart deftly employs our favorite STEM toy, the Lego, to describe the shortcomings of HS math in this captivating essay titled The Unreasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics Education. Arguing that mathematical rules are simple building blocks that can be used, like Legos, to predict how the world around us works, Reinhart likens the abstract, rigid nature of math curriculum to glued Lego sets. "You may learn how they work, but you do not have the tools to disassemble them and you haven’t the faintest idea how to build a new one," he writes. Sadly, Reinhart offers no alternatives but as he's still an undergraduate physics major at UT-Austin, we're willing to give him a pass until graduation. Be sure to check out his homepage for more perspectives from the other side of the lecture hall including Shut Up and Listen, an overview of physics education research and interactive teaching methods.

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