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Topic:
Teaching Algebra
Replies:
25
Last Post:
May 10, 2000 2:26 PM




RE: Teaching Algebra
Posted:
May 8, 2000 2:48 PM


Jaime Escalente's story is well told in both the Mathews' book and the movie. It's probably the only school movie not involving a football or HS prom as its high point, or with East LA kids not involving a knifing or drug o.d.
As for his secret, as he put it "ganas". Roughly translated into English  the 'urge' or 'desire' to do something. Though perhaps, it's more laced with passion, that is the passion to want to learn (and teach.)
Now maybe that's a bit hard for most to swallow, but then again, it worked for this guy. After all, he got these kids up to speed and after a while had them doing calculus. Not bad for a poor district.
So when people challenge me on algebra for all 8th graders, I think of this guy and remember what he did.
Al Barron Metuchen, NJ
> Date: Sun, 07 May 2000 22:52:38 0400 > From: Guy Brandenburg <gfbranden@earthlink.net> > Subject: Re: Teaching Algebra > > This relates to the complaints (justified or not) that WB has had about > the > alleged "treatment" of Jaime Escalante by the "wildeyed reformedrs" > formerly > running the People's Republic of California. (For the humorimpaired: that > was a > joke, mostly). > > I read the book about Escalante, watched the movie, and also looked at > least one > of the AnnenbergCPB (or was it PBS?) videos on his teaching. I'll be > darned if > I could figure out his "secret", other than that he had about a gazillion > manipulatives, and that he had the students work like the dickens, > including > after school, weekends, and summer vacations. I am not sure he even used > a > textbook, but could be corrected on that point. > > Escalante didn't even bother to learn the names of his students, did not > seem to > believe in orthodox teaching methods that Mathematically Correct would > have > everybody use, but did try to motivate his students by ... what? Appeals > to > pride? Practical applications? It's not clear to me what his "secret" was, > nor > how to duplicate whatever that was. >



