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Play First; Formalize Later

Writing in the Atlantic, Luba Vangelova describes math educator and curriculum designer Maria Droujkova's place in a movement aiming to change how mathematics is taught.

Droujkova claims that the mathematical tasks required of young students are often not developmentally appropriate for them, and instead advocates a more holistic approach she calls "natural mathematics." Droujkova wants to channel children's inborn impulse to play toward the exploration of mathematics.

In Droujkova's model, students would progress from play to informal discussion of concepts to eventual formalization. An element of playfulness would ideally remain throughout, however.

“This is what mathematicians do—they play with abstract ideas, but they still play,” Droujkova says.

Read the story.

Start Date: 
Friday, March 28, 2014