Manitoba, Canada brings back column addition!

In Manitoba, Canada, it’s the start of a new school year, and a revised mathematics curriculum for their elementary school children.

According to they will see:

  1. All four standard algorithms have been put back in the curriculum (vertical addition with a carry, subtraction with a borrow, vertical multiplication and long division).
  2. There is a specific requirement for times table memorization now.
  3. Most of the language from the preamble, which describes the instructional philosophy, that disparaged practice or pencil-and-paper math has been removed. Language discussing the importance of practice, efficient computation and knowing math facts automatically was added.

WISE Math was founded in 2011 by mathematicians campaigning for improved mathematics education in schools in Western Canada, and who were subsequently involved in discussions with Manitoba’s Deputy Minister of Education. To date, nearly 1000 people have shown their public support for this initiative. It’s heartening to see a government education department paying attention to public concern and putting things right.

I’d like to remind everyone that this campaign also needs a strong voice, so please speak up! Leave comments and make our own Ministry of Education pay attention!

Dr Audrey Tan, Mathmo Consulting
September 2013