Monday, August 11, 2014

My Rant on MathShare 8 yrs ago

Haven't looked at the Yahoo group, MathShare I moderated several years ago. Phased it out when I started this blog.

Best way to describe what appears below? How about, " The more things change, the more they stay the same." Sad, but this could've been written today, except I'm retired...

From MathShare

Here's a novel thought...
I'd like to start a thread to explore what seems obvious to all of my teachers and probably to you and all of your colleagues as well. Not one of the teachers in my department teaches skills in a vacuum as in 'kill and drill.' They demand that students take notes and practice with many exercises until the concepts/skills are set in place and then come back to it in another context later on. They ask many questions in class to explore a topic, deepen conceptual understanding and assess: 'Show me why the absolute value of (x-1) is not x+1! How can you demonstrate this is not always true. Turn to your partner and convince each other!"
Technology enhances all of this but technology, standards, standardized tests and a plethora of new reports from various curriculum groups and governmental agencies WILL NEVER LEAD TO IMPROVEMENT of learning in the classroom and you all know why!
It's time to stop the political rhetoric and address what is really going on in the classroom. Effective teachers have always been effective. These are teachers who ravenously explore new instructional strategies, read everything they can get their hands on and then decide what will work best for their students. They are not mired in the the past nor are they easily swayed by buzz words or glitz. They are open to change but they will never abandon FIRST PRINCIPLES of learning. They will always be here after all the experts are long gone. ISN'T IT TIME WE CELEBRATE THEM AND USE THEM AS THE TRUE MODEL OF EDUCATION. THEY ARE THE GOLD STANDARD! Their students certainly know the truth: "She was the hardest and most demanding teacher I ever had. But boy did I learn!"

C'mon – don't be afraid to share 'self-evident' truths!! After all, someone has to tell the emperor he is naked! Ok, my rant is done!
Dave Marain

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