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[Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: Why Do Americans Stink at Math?



A couple of things about this article,

"The same pattern played out in the 1960s, when schools gripped by a post-Sputnik inferiority complex unveiled an ambitious “new math,” only to find, a few years later, that nothing actually changed."

Uhmmm... object oriented programming, the development of the personal computer, hypertext protocol transfer protocol, hypertext mark up language, the Palo Alto Research Center.  We had an entire information revolution that is in many ways driven by individuals who learned math under this system.  Is that the reason? Who knows, but probably a better choice than most.  New Math and other revolutions in teaching math and other things don't work for a number of reasons.   One is that learning math is linked to a number of other issues including your chaotic home life and (lack of nutrition).  One of the reasons these new approaches to Mathematics don't work is because we immediately want to test whether it works.  But if you are teaching so students do better on tests you are doing stuff that is antithetical to the types of approaches to teaching what are being discussed (at least I would argue).  We should not forget that Common Core is directly tied to testing, again and again.  They are implementing testing before even developing curriculum for Godsakes!!!  So basically you are sowing the failure to Common Core right into its beginnings.

The danger with the Common Core, which I see in this article, is that it treats education, including mathematics education, as a machine rather than a transactional field.  In spit of what people say about getting students to really understand math the goal is to get students to do better on the Standards test.  It is narrow and mechanistic.

Michael
________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Larry Purss [lpscholar2@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 3:55 AM
To: Mike Cole; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

Mike, Andy,

Yes, a great article.
  The insights that were generated by a person from Japan observing the
degree of *private* individual classroom teaching [with the
resulting isolation of teachers in America] in contrast to Japanese
teachers engaging in ongoing *lesson* dialogues.
The centrality of ongoing *lesson talk* as what is needed to sustain change
contrasts with the common practices of teachers in American schools left to
figure out best practice alone.

How do we shift our practices in schools to encourage ongoing dialogical
*lesson talk* among teachers?
Larry


On Sun, Jul 27, 2014 at 9:44 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> This story about the resistance to common core standards may be of interest
> to several members of xmca.
> Note that Sylvia Scribner appears in the story (!).
> mike
>
>
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>      Why Do Americans Stink at Math?
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> By
> ELIZABETH GREEN
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> no one has taught the teachers how to teach it.
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