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Topic: Who Is Responsible for Student Achievement?
Replies: 4   Last Post: Feb 18, 2012 2:09 AM

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Robert Hansen

Posts: 9,354
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Re: Who Is Responsible for Student Achievement?
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 9:18 AM
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Let's leave aside for the moment the issue of whether teachers understand the relationship of memory to mathematics and/or reflect that relationship poorly to their students.

Students ARE NOT passing tests by memory. Indeed, students are doing very poorly on tests, which this thread owes its existence to. But some students do pass tests and some of those even do well. Thus, if there is any truth to the idea of a "memory poser" they would have to be in that smaller set of students that pass tests. I have found no indication of this. In fact, one of the reasons that students fail tests is not that they memorize but that they only memorize and even then they memorize poorly. I just wanted to clarify that if you go into an authentic mathematics test and memory is all you got then fail you will.

Regarding concepts. You don't teach concepts, you experience them. Concepts (and theory) are simply how we share those thought experiences. Some concepts embody those experiences in logic more nicely than others but if the student and teacher are not having those same experiences (the epiphanetic moments) then the student is failing.

Regarding word problems involving apples and trains. If the student cannot do math in that freakedly simple context then the student is seriously failing. Not much more needs to be said about that.

Memory + Inference + Interest

Bidda Badda Boom

Bob Hansen

On Feb 17, 2012, at 4:56 AM, john <> wrote:

> When looking at the problem we see the both sides blaming each other, when it actually takes both of them for education to work. Now as to whose place is it to actually inspire children to learn. The obvious choice is the educators, after all why spend that much money and that much of your life devoted to education, when you can't even encourage learning. If all parents were qualified educators, there would be no need for the public school system or teachers at all.
> As for the parents, their role should not be supplemental, but should be a compliment to the teachers role. The parents should not take up for teachers "slack", but rather should have more communication with teachers and see what and how they are teaching the children.
> The parents will then be in a position help reinforce those ideas. This works because with effective communication the parents and teachers will not be contradicting each other and confusing the students.
> I use the word slack not because teachers are not doing their jobs, but simply because educators are now forced to give exam prep not education. It is not solely the fault of educators, but after all the years of "experience" in educating most still don't know the impact of the memorization and regurgitation style of teaching.
> Most educators equate memorizing a bunch of formulas and methods to understanding the material. Just because a student can memorize what a teacher wants them to and recall it at test time does not mean the student "understands" the material.
> I have a great memory, and when I was in middle school I constantly tested my memory to see what I could remember. I memorized the bill of rights for a U.S. history class I could recite the bill of rights in reverse order or recall a specific amendment on command.
> However, it was not until long after I graduated high school until I truly understood its meaning or how important it really was. By this time I had forgotten most of the bill of rights, making the memorized knowledge of it useless to me. When in reality that is the most important document in U.S. history.
> Now with mathematics we have a similar problem. Students, some with good memory and some without, all are taught that they need to memorize all these rules and formulas, and regurgitate them on tests. They do get to use these concepts in their homework, which educators think that helps them understand it. It does not In some cases it actually reinforces the students hatred or anxiety for the subject. We attempt to help them understand with word problems such as:
> [Sally sells apple for extra money for the summer....... OR train a is going 55 mph and train b is...]
> Most student do not sell apples and will never need to know which train is going to arrive first. The people at the train station can tell them that. I feel very lucky to have gotten a great educator in high school mathematics. In addition to teaching us the concepts formulas and rules of mathematics she listened to us in the hallways and in class and even in the lunchrooms., and picked up on some problems we experienced in our daily lives. She would then utilize that in class, and mathematically model some of the problems we experienced. In doing this she even manged to slip in some math that was not on the exams that stuck with me for the past 12 years.
> Most teachers like to feel they are doing this, and some feel they just simply don't have the time in their day to do that. Well this is where we can actually shift some blame back to the education system in the U.S. We spend so much more time on the "easier" subjects then we should.
> I remember in high school we were required to take a class on economics. That could easily be integrated into a math class, giving more time teaching mathematics. There are more examples of "required" classes that could be {"-mathematized-"}
> So to wrap up a "huge" change is needed on all sides to ensure future generations are more educated than the ones before them.

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