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

What an interesting article! I am thinking about the lack of focus on specific contexts in the article's discussion of teaching and learning to teach as a practicing teacher. Is it possible to go about such change (from "old" math to new math or Common Core math) with little/no consideration for what kinds of teaching might work in a particular school culture or the social context of a given classroom? I think less of a standardized approach (here, everyone do this) and more focus on what works locally (here are some ideas; now decide what might work for you) might help teachers learn to teach Common Core math in a way that actually works in their particular context. To adapt phrase from Magdalene Lampert, it might bring about more sustainable change as they are "re-learning teaching" in their schools. 

Because Common Core math is so different, perhaps this re-learning teaching requires a radical new approach instead of the same old professional development. Learning through the Japanese jugyokenkyu method sounds like it might be very useful, but there doesn't seem to be a push for reforming how teachers learn once they are in the field. (Except that if enough of their students fail the Common Core-aligned tests, they will eventually be out of a job.) 

It seems nonsensical to implement incredibly high-stakes tests without significant investment in re-learning teaching and with, as far as I know, no research on how to learn to teach Common Core as a practicing teacher. I, too, wonder about how these issues are handled in Japan? 


Katie Wester-Neal
University of Georgia
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 12:58 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Fwd: NYTimes.com: Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

On 28 July 2014 16:46, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:
These students had learned
> incredibly well how to solve recipe Physics but they had no idea about how
> the basic principles of Physics worked.


I would say the ethics of the situation go deeper than simply (un)learnt
capabilities, but rather to the development of the student's creative
capabilities (or, rather, the stunting of them).