“Teacher voice is set to mute”

Date:        2 May 16
By:            Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.
                 Burlington, ON     905 634 9538
For:           Letters The Spec
Re:            “Teacher voice is set to mute”,  today’s Spec
                  215 words


Dear Editor:
Writer Ken Durkacz  (“Teacher voice is set to mute”,  today’s Spec.)
is spot-on when he blames the “Inquiry” (or “discovery” or “con-
structivist”) teaching method for Ontario’s worsening math scores.
The disastrous so-called “Progressive” education system, of which
“Constructivism” is a key element, began in the 19th century and was
installed in Ontario beginning about 1967, nearly 30 years before
Mike Harris.
There is an increasing trickle of Letters to the Editor blaming Ontario’s
curricula for our poor math (and other) results.  Clearly, Ontario’s
parents, employers, and University presidents are increasingly
identifying the right villain in this sad melodrama.
The failure of Constructivism as a teaching tool is dramatically illustrated
when one encounters retail sales people who cannot confidently add
up a handful of change, never mind do any mental arithmetic with the
Writer Durkacz is correct when he comments that “You need to
clearly grasp basic tools (such as the times table) in order to do more
sophisticated work”; but the “discovery” method gives the struggling 10-year-
old, who may well be in tears of frustration, only a ladder with the  bottom five
rungs missing.  It must have been devised by educators who were told to
create a model guaranteed to teach children (and their mystified parents)
to hate math.
– 30 –

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