Category Archives: Math Education

Teaching Multiplication: Is it repeated addition?

I’ve been getting peppered with requests to comment on a recent argument that’s
been going on about math education, particularly with respect to multiplication.
We’ve got a fairly prominent guy named Keith Devlin ranting that
“multiplication is not repeated addition”
. I’ve been getting mail from both
sides of this – from people who basically say “This guy’s an idiot – of
course it’s repeated addition”, and from people who say “Look how stupid
these people are that they don’t understand that multiplication isn’t repeated

In general, I’m mostly inclined to agree with him, with some major caveats. But since he sidesteps the real fundamental issue here, I’m rather annoyed with him.

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