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

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Richard Strausz

Posts: 4,621
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: Pseudoteaching
Posted: Feb 23, 2011 3:35 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.

Joshua, I read his posts as finding points of departure that will be more likely to interest students. His focus doesn't appear to be on specific explanations. That's okay with me; I'm a teacher. I can handle the explanations.


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