Skip to content

Developmental and Cognitive Psychology

James Stigler, a UCLA professor of developmental and cognitive psychology, highlights the dire state of math education in the US, describing it as “horrendous.” His research, dating back to the late 1970s, has revealed that a significant number of American students are inadequately prepared for college-level math, with a staggering 60% of community college entrants being unqualified for college mathematics despite high school graduation.

Stigler’s analysis contrasts US teaching practices with those of countries like Japan, Australia, and Switzerland, showing that American students tend to focus on rote memorization of procedures rather than grasping deep concepts and problem-solving skills. He asserts that American students are more likely to view learning as easy and disconnected from thinking and struggling, which hampers their development.

To address this issue, Stigler’s endeavors, including a project funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, aim to improve teaching methods incrementally. He’s developed an interactive university course on introductory statistics, gathering real-time data to gauge student learning and refine the curriculum. Stigler’s involvement with the Precision Institute, a venture by National University, seeks to test innovative teaching ideas and enhance education outcomes.

Stigler’s research underscores the importance of reevaluating teaching methodologies to ensure students genuinely understand and engage with the material, ultimately promoting effective learning and critical thinking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *