Responding to Lou Talman's post of Oct 13, 2012 9:00 PM (his message pasted below my signature for ready reference):
I agree with practically of of Professor Talman's contentions - and I believe such an approach does afford some hope of progress on this kind of complex issue. The only point with which I disagree (it's not a major disagreement) is the following:
I believe that - while it is certainly useful to gather evidence, background and ideas from all cultures and backgrounds (Chinese/Finnish/ whatever) - the 'engine' of the US path forward MUST come from the experiences and ideas of US stakeholders - students, teachers, parents, administrators and others. This is why I strongly recommend the OPMS approach, to which I often refer in my posts: it helps create a system in detail from the ideas and experiences of real stakeholders in the specific system under consideration. (Check out the attachments to my initial posting at the thread "'Curriculum' is NOT the same as 'system' - some differences" [http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2408198] for basic background about this approach).
Lou Talman posted Oct 13, 2012 9:00 PM: > On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM, Robert Hansen > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > > I think in this discussion, "Overworked" means > "Underpaid" and the vast > > majority of "teacher" discussions and arguments are > in regard to pay, or > > benefits. > > > > Whatever the term "overworked" may mean to those in > the discussion, it is > probably misdirected. The underlying problem is that, > in the public > perception, teachers who aren't in direct contact > with students aren't > "working". This point is amply supported by the way > this discussion has > revolved around "teaching hours". It's bad enough > that the term "teaching > hours" doesn't apply to all of the out-of-class > support work that teachers > must do, but that's only the surface of the issue. > > Read Liping Ma's book. Note that the Chinese teachers > attribute much of > what they learn about not only teaching, but subject > matter alone to their > interactions with more senior teachers. American > public schools, focused > almost exclusively on teachers making direct contact > with students, make no > provision whatsoever for teachers to talk to each > other. > > What is particularly disappointing about this fact is > that the teachers > themselves don't recognize and haven't identified > this problem. They > complain about being overworked---not about having > their work misdirected. > > --Louis A. Talman > Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences > Metropolitan State College of Denver > > <http://rowdy.mscd.edu/%7Etalmanl>