Industrial Engineering

Apply, then Theorize

STEM-Education

Picture source: www.phillipscharitable.org

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 46 NUMBER 12

We may be teaching math all wrong

The Wellesley College math professor, Oscar Fernandez, thinks the key to improve STEM education is to reverse the teaching of theory and practicality that dominates math classes in the United States.

Answering questions like what’s the fastest way to get home from work depends on calculus. But U.S schools teach theory first, then application. Thus, students’ thinking is dominated by figuring out how they are going to use what they learn.

He and another professor teach application before theory at Wellesley and the students earning grades were 5.3% higher than the class average.