Responding to Jerry Becker's post dt. Feb 2, 2013 2:21 AM (his entire post is pasted below my signature for ready reference):
And it is delightful to learn of this success.
I observe that the success is attributed to the following: > > In this class, teachers don't offer solutions to > problems. Instead, they constantly question students > to get them to think for themselves > and explain their reasoning as part of their answer. > This appears to be a truly significant advance. I look forward to finding out more about it.
Alas, some who may have learned a couple of useful lessons from this success do not seem to be with us any more.
I do hope that this success will not be found out, later, to be based on spurious data or the like.
Jerry Becker posted Feb 2, 2013 2:21 AM: > > ******************************** > From The Detroit News, Thursday, January 3, 2013. > . See > http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/ > 201301031115/SCHOOLS/301030371 > . Our thanks to Ann Garrett for bringing this piece > to our attention. > ******************************** > DPS project helps math skills sprout > > By Jennifer Chambers > > Detroit > > Look inside one Detroit elementary school classroom > and see the > unexpected: kids excited about math. It's a > squirm-in-your-seat kind > of enthusiasm with students eager to raise their > hands, stand at the > chalkboard and solve problems with each other as they > tackle > equations. > > Educators credit the sea change in attitude among > youngsters to a > 15-week intensive math program in Detroit Public > Schools called > Project SEED. > > In this class, teachers don't offer solutions to > problems. Instead, > they constantly question students to get them to > think for themselves > and explain their reasoning as part of their answer. > > Project SEED is a national nonprofit company that > sends specially > trained mathematicians into urban classrooms - places > where students > typically are several grade levels behind in math > comprehension - to > teach high-level math. > > In each lesson, a SEED math specialist asks students > to analyze the > problem, using the continual questioning of the > Socratic style. The > class is a 90-minute supplemental course, so the > students are > essentially getting a double dose of math every day. > > Keeping students engaged in class is a constant > challenge for > educators, especially in districts such as DPS, where > funds and > technology are limited. > > Yet in Diana Skinner's fourth-grade Project SEED > class at Chrysler > Elementary School, students are smiling ear to ear > and appear ready > to jump out of their seats as questions are posed > about math. > > As student Trey Henry works out a math problem on the > chalkboard, > half of the students extend their arms above their > heads, wildly > waving their hands and fingers and smiling. Another > group rotates > fists in a circle to communicate disagreement, using > silent hand > signals that are the kids' way of helping each other > solve math > problems. > > Teachers say most students feel comfortable in the > SEED atmosphere, > and hand signals are a safe way for shy students to > get involved > without speaking. > > Principal Wendy Shirley said Project SEED is > successful at her school > because students are engaged. "You see a reduction in > discipline > problems. None of them are afraid to raise their > hand. You see that > level of confidence," she said. > > Daniel J. Mulligan, Detroit director of Project SEED, > said a video > study by an international math organization examined > classroom > teaching practices. It found that in math, improved > learning was > consistently linked to allowing students to struggle. > > "Too often, teachers feel compelled to give students > the answer, as > opposed to the Project SEED pedagogical practice of > letting the > students figure it out for themselves and then > explaining how they > arrived at their conclusions," Mulligan said. > > The extra support is needed. > > According to the Education Dashboard kept by the > Michigan Department > of Education, 8.9 percent of Detroit Public Schools > students in > grades 3-8 are proficient in math. > > A global study released last month revealed American > fourth-graders > are performing better than they were four years ago > in math and > reading, but students who are four years older show > no such progress. > > Although the United States remains in the top dozen > or so countries > in all subjects tested, the gap between the United > States and the > top-performing nations is much wider at the > eighth-grade level, > especially in math, said Jack Buckley, commissioner > of the National > Center for Education Statistics, which coordinated > the U.S. portion > of the international exam. > > The study showed that by eighth grade, American > students have fallen > behind their Russian, Japanese and Taiwanese > counterparts in math and > trail students from Hong Kong, Slovenia and South > Korea in science. > > Project SEED began in 1963 in Berkeley, Calif., and > came to Michigan > in 1970 as a statewide program. > > It has been working in DPS since the mid-1980s, > reaching about 10 > percent of its target audience each year. > > Mulligan said independent evaluations in Detroit have > shown a > positive impact of Project SEED instruction on > Michigan Educational > Assessment Program test scores. > > In a one-year study of the program, nearly 90 percent > of SEED > students passed the mathematics part of the MEAP, > while 79.2 percent > of the comparison group passed, Mulligan said. > > Quicken Loans Inc., the Detroit-based online mortgage > company that > has a business partnership with DPS, paid for the > class. The > company's $13,900 donation covers the cost of the > class as well as > professional development for teachers and a parent > workshop. > > Project SEED expects to have its contract with DPS > approved this > month, and plans to provide services to 35-40 > district schools, > Mulligan said. > ---------------------------------------------- > PHOTO SIDEBAR: Diana Skinner teaches a fourth-grade > Project SEED > class at Chrysler Elementary School. The project > sends specially > trained mathematicians into urban classrooms to teach > high-level > math. (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News) > ---------------------------------------------- > firstname.lastname@example.org --- (313) 222-2269 > ---------------------------------------------- > Associated Press contributed. > ************************************************** > -- > Jerry P. Becker > Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction > Southern Illinois University > 625 Wham Drive > Mail Code 4610 > Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 > Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O] > (618) 457-8903 [H] > Fax: (618) 453-4244 > E-mail: email@example.com