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Topic: Pseudoteaching
Replies: 31   Last Post: Apr 19, 2011 9:35 AM

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Joshua Fisher

Posts: 378
Registered: 11/26/08
Re: Pseudoteaching
Posted: Feb 23, 2011 12:46 PM
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I don't have any issue with Meyer's methods. I have an issue with the rusty, broken chain of reasoning he and others use.

Dan's post is a perfect example. First, after introducing the working definition of "pseudoteaching," he presents an example from his student teaching. This was the result:

"I thought my students understood the behavior of r = acos(btheta) on a deep level but they were only responding to superficial patterns in notation."

Very well. It looked like good teaching, but students didn't learn. How would he correct this?

"The students have to develop the algorithm themselves. Given a second chance at that mess, I'd get students in groups of three or four and let each student pick a member of the family of the functions ? 'Okay, you do r = 1cos(2theta). I'll do r = 2cos(2theta). You do r = 3cos(2theta).' Rather than watch me mashing buttons at the front of the room, students would graph their functions by hand and then summarize their findings to each other and then the class. Maybe with a poster ? your call."

Fine. But all he's done here is present a different-looking instruction and suggest that it's now suddenly not pseudoteaching.

The other posts are at the same pitch. In a nutshell: My explanations suck, so students are better off figuring it out for themselves.

Actually improving the explanations is--as far as I've read--not considered as an option. Changing the conclusion is out of the question, and folks are simply figuring out different ways to get there.

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