Your note is interesting. I remember the posting and took the contents in the context for which they were written. I don't think the writer was advocating the lack of teacher support for the top students; but, the writer did point out that in classroom atmospheres which do not support learning that generally the top students make it. This is perhaps because of the very supports you mention in your note. I also think your note supports the general thrust of the standards in that what is being proposed advocates many different approaches and methods. In this type of environment each child will benefit from varied techniques.
David K. Pugalee, Saginaw Valley State University
On Sun, 10 Dec 1995, LOIS SEYLER wrote:
> > I saw this exchange the other day, recoiled in horror, and waited and > waited for one of you professionals to call your peers on their attitude. > Alas, no one ever did. > > > >Also, top students will learn no matter what we do to them! The BIG question > > >>the Standards are trying to answer is how can we get ALL students to learn > > >the >mathematics they will need given rapid changes taking place in the world. > > > > Yes, the top students will get it no matter what. > > Is there something in the standards that places relative value on > students, or suggests that more or less time and attention ought to be devoted > to some? Is the object to bring the lower and middle performers up to what is > now the top, or is the goal progress for all, including the current top > achievers? Do the standards de-emphasize "top students?" > > Are "top students" (however you define them) part of "all students," > or not? If you drew a venn diagram of students, would top students be within > all students, or would they be a satellite onto themselves, off to the side > somewhere? > > When (public) schools are funded on a dollars-per-pupil allocation, > the justification given taxpayers is that the education of *all* children is > in the best interests of society. Exceptions aren't make for kids who are > "already smart enough," because continuous improvement is in our collective > best interest. > > I cannot control what you do. But if teaching my child in a way that > is efficient and effective for him (or working toward conditions that would > allow same) is not part of your agenda, please state clearly that that is the > case, so that I can make other arrangements for him. > > Please do not assume that, bacause you seldem see "top students" > flounder, they "will learn no matter what we do to them." Top students often > have support systems (parents and/or other resources) in place to overcome > what you may "do to them," but that doesn't mean it does not matter. They > attend school so that they can learn because of, and not in spite of, your > teaching. > > Rant concluded, the "just-a-parent" (whose son does *not* learn best > by teaching others!) returns to lurk mode... > LS >