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Topic: Parents
Replies: 118   Last Post: Oct 31, 2006 5:29 PM

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Elizabeth carson

Posts: 40
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Investigations Curriculum Value
Posted: Oct 29, 2002 12:48 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

On Mon Oct 28 22:29:32 2002, Susan Pfohman wrote Re. Investigations
Curriculum Value:

> I now am teaching high school math at a
>low achieving high school in Portland. I can spot the students who
>have some depth of understanding of mathematical patterns and number
>sense. Generally there's some standards-based curriculum in their
>background.



Susan,
I assume by your reference to "standards-based" curriculum you mean
NCTM Standards-based curriculum. It is more helpful for parents and
others to be given the standards to which one refers when using the
term "standrads-based." There are other exepmplary math standards to
which good math programs are aligned, eg California Math Standards and
those developed by the Singapore Ministry of Education.

>When I see it, I am relieved for them. Not angry. Not
>worried. Not frustrated with opportunity lost. Quite the contrary.
>When I see a students who has had teachers who moved away from the
>abstract to the meaningful, I see hope for that student's future.
>We parents come with a variety of perspectives. Don't presume we
>all want what we had in the way of math curriculum or instruction
>for our hildren.


I think those with varying perspectives on TERC and other NCTM
Standards-based programs agree students should develop deep
understanding and appreciation for the mathematics they learn.

From my experience, even the harshest critics of TERC and the NCTM
Standards based reform, recognize the value of questioning,
discussion, student to student sharing of thoughts and ideas, asking
students to appreciate the nature of math, efforts to make math
meaningful, to require students to grapple with problems and concepts,
and the fundamental value of developing conceptual understanding.
These are hallmarks of quality education.

I've not heard suggestions waged by concerned parents or classrom
teachers or mathematicians that any of these components lack
importance and value.

Where perpsectives diverge is on issues of content, specificity of
goals and objectives grade by grade, the fundamental value of learning
standard arithmetic algorithms , the requisite for some explicit
instruction and regular objective assessments, and the necessity for
mastery of math facts and arithmetic skills in order to advance and
to fully participate in conceptual development and problem solving
skills all along the way into more advanced math and science school
coursework and college level study.

I don't know many parents who hold most dear for their children's math
education a repeat of what they themselves received, unless of course
they were among the lucky minority to have received an excellent
mathematics education in this country.

Those on both sides of the math wars agree our country's mathematics
education has been mediocre at best for the great majority of our
students.

Please don't presume that those parents critical of TERC hunker for a
time gone by where all was well in US math education, or that they
advocate a traditional education comprised only of drill and rote
learning ( ie "fact regurgitation" or "bunch o' facts")

This is a false characterization often attached to critics of TERC,
and the NCTM reform, and are often made (sadly) along with charges of
racism and elitism.

I have personally been accused of being a racist and an elitist based
purely on the values and standards I hold for my son's mathematics
education

Such false assumptions, so quickly made, are not only baseless
presumptions, but divisive and can be a serious threat to democratic
discourse. And in my particular case, somewhat laughable, since I come
from extremely liberal roots.

Stick to the substantive concerns, not the counterproductive spin.

Elizabeth Carson






Date Subject Author
12/14/99
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3/23/00
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10/25/02
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9/9/03
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9/10/03
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10/28/02
Read Investigations Curriculum Value
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10/29/02
Read Re: Investigations Curriculum Value
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11/1/02
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11/12/02
Read Re: Re: Re: Terc math and a parental uprising
Elizabeth carson
11/13/02
Read Re: Re: Re: Terc math and a parental uprising
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11/13/02
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11/13/02
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2/12/05
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10/31/06
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3/20/03
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4/23/03
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