WitCH 54: California Dreamin’

UPDATE (23/03/22)

Apparently, California’s draft has been recently updated, and of course the draft still sucks. Also, it is worth noting two public campaigns against the draft, here and here.


OK, this is one of those blivit WitCHes. Yeah, sorry, but what are you gonna do? We don’t have the time (or the stomach) to give the stuff below the full-blown critique that it warrants, and there is a stormfront much closer to home.  Given the thing has been brought to our attention, however, it also seems an error to not raise it on this blog. And so, here we are.

The inestimable Jo Boaler is one of the writers for the California mathematics curriculum review, and the proposed new “framework” is now up for public comment. The screenshots below are from youcubed‘s newsletter, and further below are links to individual chapters of the new framework (all also available here, along with other relevant material). Good luck.

CHAPTER LINKS (Word files, because making PDFs is apparently so damn hard)

(There’s also grade level brochures on this page, but, at posting, the links weren’t working.)

1. Introduction

2. Teaching for Equity and Engagement

3. Number Sense

4. Exploring, Discovering, and Reasoning With and About Mathematics

5. Data Science

6. Mathematics, Investigating and Connecting, Transitional Kindergarten through Grade Five

7. Mathematics, Investigating and Connecting, Grades Six through Eight

8. Mathematics, Investigating and Connecting, Grades Nine through Twelve

9. Supporting Equitable and Engaging Mathematics Instruction

10. Technology and Distance Learning in the Teaching of Mathematics

11. Assessment in the 21st Century

12. Instructional Materials

13. Glossary

6 Replies to “WitCH 54: California Dreamin’”

  1. Just a question Marty – did you consider categorizing this as RaTS?

    Because, when I read the following:

    – “asset-based, mindset-infused”
    – “all students take the same course”

    My first reaction was to RaTS.

    There are a few bits I liked (before digging into the details) such as looking at the “ideas” rather than ticking a series of boxes. The notion of “flexibility” also appeals as an idea (less tools but more ways to use them) except, I get the distinct feeling from reading the details that this just isn’t going to happen.

  2. “Investigating and Connecting big ideas” blah blah blah – I believe Marty has made the parallel with the reality of Bourke and Wills rather than the utopia of Lewis and Clarke.

    RF: Yes, it is total FIGJAM.

    “Asset-based, mindset infused approach, with a strong social justice orientation” He forgot to mention the infusion of quantum healing.

    1. And the gentle nurturing of the fragile pre-teen mind through the dangers of actually learning something meaningful without getting their feelings hurt by being wrong occasionally…

  3. Total FIGJAM, of which the excellent Jo Boaler is a shining example. Of course when I read the first dot point I had the urge to throw my computer at the wall. There’s also the philosophical objection of mathematics being taught purely for its usefulness and for its “making sense of the world”. This is an important aspect of mathematics, but it is only one part of it. We don’t teach Shakespeare because of his “usefulness”; we teach Shakespeare because we wish to introduce students to some of the greatest literature. And one of the issues of a practical-oriented mathematics curriculum is that it tends to get filled up with “problems” which are so blatantly artificial as to have the opposite effect. Students are not taken in by this stuff, and neither should they be. And like all disciplines and endeavours, mathematics needs to be practised. The only way to learn to compute an integral (for example) is to do lots of problems, until you begin to make the connections and see the patterns in your own mind. To that extent, drill-and-practice is necessary.

    Whoever said “we don’t want 21st century skills, we want 18th century skills” was right on the money. I’d as lief teach students from Thomas Jephson’s “The Fluxional Calculus: an Elementary Treatise” (1830) than from any of the textbooks written to conform with Jo Boaler’s concepts of mathematics.

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