MVP Method Frustrates Students

More in-class practice and guidance, single method preferred

MVP Method Frustrates Students

Colby Brown, Opinion Editor

The Mathematics Vision Project or MVP was adopted by Wake County and has now been the math curriculum for the past few years. In its current state, it is an abysmal way to learn math. MVP’s methods of teaching do not function the way they are supposed to, and that has to change.

From my experiences, the way MVP class curriculum functions is that it is pretty much one long lecture during class. When class starts, we briefly check homework for completion, the teacher asks for questions (which hardly anyone ever asks) and then we start the classwork.

The classwork lasts most of the period, and the way the basic structure of the class goes is that the teacher will give a long lecture, we will try a practice problem for less than five minutes, we will be told the answer and then have another long lecture and then another practice problem: rinse and repeat.

We need to be able to actually practice what we are learning in class way more than just a handful of practice problems. MVP has all the practice on the homework, and then when we are actually doing the work, we are at home and can’t ask the teacher our questions because they are not nearby.

There should be practice worksheets during class time. That way, the student is solving the problems and not just parroting what the teacher says, and when students have questions while truly attempting to solve the problems themselves, they can be answered by the teacher.

When class does not allow for full on practice, you can turn to the extra help videos MVP provides, which do not function properly. Most of the extra help videos just re-state the problem presented in the homework and don’t explain how to solve them. If they do explain how to solve them, they only explain how to solve one specific kind of problem, and as soon as the homework starts changing things up in the equations to solve, you get lost on what to do.

These extra help videos also just expect you to remember everything you were taught in previous years, as well as what was presented in class. So if you are having trouble with something in class and want to look to the videos for help, you are out of luck because they just expect you to know how to do everything you were taught as if you are just a learning machine and have no room for error.

When I was in elementary and middle school, like most kids, sometimes I did not understand how to solve a math problem. But lucky for me, my dad would help me with my math, for he was taught the same or a very similar way to solve the math problem. Now, if my dad tries to help me with math, he will wind up more confused than I am with the methods presented in MVP.

The issue lies in the new methods they use in teaching math, which tend to be more complex and different so that we know different ways to solve the problem. This makes it very difficult to find extra help online from sources like Khan Academy because they will most likely be doing it differently from the way your doing it.

I understand that they are trying to teach students how to solve equations with different methods, and if you use multiple methods for one problem, you can check your work. While the good intentions are there, there should just be one reliable method taught. It should also be the most commonly accepted method so students can look elsewhere for help. This would allow students to become fully capable in one method, rather than somewhat decent at multiple. In turn, this would also allow parents to be able to assist in said work.

MVP is a fundamentally flawed method of learning in its current state, yet it can improve by correcting some of the items above. But if it does not improve soon, it has got to be changed out with something else.