Ed Wall spoke of "grudgingly nuanced" skepticism of IE. I think the skepticism might be less grudging if those promoting IE took a less extreme position, particularly given their reluctance (inability?) to post links to the actual research requested by Bob Hansen and others. Decades (centuries?) of failed education fads leave many of us understandably skeptical about calls to do what sounds like throwing the baby out with the bath water. (The old "evolution, not revolution" thing again.)
Considering John Clement's periodic claim that U.S. students "don't have proportional reasoning," I have little doubt that we should (and could) make improvements. Personally, I think Singapore bar modeling does a nice job of addressing this, but I don't have research to back that up, and I'm not going to direct John Clement (or anyone else) to undertake the needed research to establish the relative merits of "traditional" vs. IE vs. Singapore Math wrt proportional reasoning.
I'm sure there are some kernels of truth in the IE pitch, but color me highly skeptical that it is the golden bullet it is promoted to be.
-------------------------------------------------- From: "Ed Wall" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 11:23 PM To: <email@example.com> Subject: Re: [math-learn] FCI and CCI in China #2
> I've been reading this conversation as it has progressed and thought I'd > make a comment or so and put forth a speculation. > > I think I read Bob Hansen as saying he'd like to see some correlation of > traditional 'success' (and while I believe he has some candidates in mind > for this term, they seem to be up for debate) with the interesting results > Jerry has noted. However, I really am doubtful much of anything will > necessarily convince those who don't want to be convinced. Further, I > rather doubt that those who don't want to be convince are going to take > John up on reading and trying. However, strangely enough I am starting to > see sort of a Kuhnian paradigm surfacing with regards a number of folks > who were randomly anti. There is still skepticism but it has become > grudgingly nuanced. > > I've been thinking about some related matters for some time under the > guise of what is often termed 'studying.' My remembrances of the halcyon > days of physics or calculus education that Bob is referring to is that > 'motivation' was, in a sense, visible in one's performace of studying. My > past and current remembrances of 'foreign' students is that this is part > and parcel of them also. With this in mind, some work by Ericson and FS > Ellett, 2002, Education Policy Analysis Archives might be relevant > (whether you read or not is up to you - smile). They look at all this > studying (more or less at the collegiate level) and construct a > hierarchical typology of those who engage in studying ranging from the > student who values an intellectual discipline for its own sake (out of > love, one might say) to those students who study an intellectual > discipline for ?strongly external? reasons (the possibility of garnering, > one might say, big bucks). In between, among other possibilities, are > those who, for instance, orient strongly towards some career choice. They > note that it is very difficult to tell from outward performance who is > what or where. Nothing very earthshaking here although they argue the > situation - which was never populated heavily at the upper levels - has > moved rapidly downward. I do know that when I talk to the high scoring AP > Calculus student a very very few of them are, before, after, and during, > little interested in calculus, per se. They take calculus to satisfy > requirements, get into Engineering, etc. This isn't bad, by the way and, > as I mentioned, traditional measures of performance don't distinguish > within the hierarchy. However, how about intellectual 'love' for calculus > (smile). It seems that along the way to developing an 'affection' for > calculus, you might need or might find it useful to develop a sort of > intellectual intimacy, a sort of conceptual understanding. Perhaps the CCI > and similar others measure such intimacy (smile) and the beginning of what > has been termed internal motivation (which many believe is a bit more long > termed than external). > > Ed Wall