On 05/09/2013 08:43 AM, kirby urner wrote: > On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 11:37 PM, Greg Goodknight <firstname.lastname@example.org > <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote: > > On 05/08/2013 09:16 PM, kirby urner wrote >> Testing is integral. Performance gets reviewed. True in >> scouting as >> well. You get badges, like grades in some ways. > > > The issue is whether the testing, whether integral or not, is > revealing the same information for the new way as for the old. > > A teacher in the tank for hands-on approaches reporting how great > the kids are doing isn't the same. The plural of anecdote is not > objective data. > > > You know what it means to rotate an object, such that its projected > shadows alter on the various reference planes. > > Assuming a student's testable capabilities are projections, with the > student a multi-dimensional object, you want to find optimal > orientations for a kind of global growth. Like finding eigenvectors. > > Being "good at math" is a planar projection, a slice, and depends as > much on the measuring tools as performance. > > School A and School B have different curricula and different tests. A > "national test", if too important (say financially, to the school), > skews the curricula to optimize relative to the national slice / plane > / test, but perhaps at a cost to the kind of globally optimized growth > we were seeking.
Damned straight. In California, it wasn't until a reasonable test was mandated statewide that the worst of the curriculums could be rooted out and removed. The district my own child belonged to was in the tank for Mathland, and none of that "globally optimized growth" they were imagining was borne out by any measure whatsoever, except for a "custom standardized test" they commissioned from some Oregon company that specialized in testing according to fiuzzy rubrics. It was reported in the local papers the local teachers who were working on it, on completion, sat in a circle, held hands and sang "Kumbaya".
Their "custom standardized test" generally reported the kids to be above average, but the cold hearted SAT9 had half the kids in my son's class in the bottom quartile. All English speaking, Euro-American kids. By then, my son had been safely ensconced for a couple years in the St.Sensible down the street who, we had found, had used the SAT9 for years, giving it to all at the beginning of every school year so the teachers had an idea what their challenges were, as opposed to the public schools who, when forced, gave it at the end of the year to get the maximum good news.
> > Biodiversity (differences among schools / curricula) is what many > "national standards" people feel threatened by; people with > significantly different schooling from themselves, running for office. > > More scouting actually may be worth a drop on some national tests, > especially if our alternative tests have a higher STEM IQ than the > national tests. We have more figurate and polyhedral numbers, > computer programming, tool use in general, along with disciplines of > lightning talk, cooking for groups, budgeting. > > The US is a political entity not expected to be especially good at > math (why should it be?). Or (alternative model) maybe the US is > great at math, which is why there's so much pressure to re-orient even > against the will of the relative numbskulls in charge of education > policy. Thomas Jefferson would prefer they use saws and drills more, > team work. Higher EQ. > > >> Yes, that's how they'd carved the turkey back then. Math was for >> brains and shop was for "below grade level". The ethnic stereotypes >> abound. > > NO, Kirby. Shop at my school was for **everyone**, including the > middle class white kids. The math in the shops was below grade > level because shop in the 8th grade didn't (and doesn't) require > much math. > > > > OK, so math was to develop a certain kind of braininess whereas shop > didn't push that hard with oscilloscopes as sine waves and A sin Bx + > C, Fourier Analysis etc.
Not OK, Kirby, you're apparently still trying to make it fit your preconceived "shop as an inferior track" meme. Beginning electric shop doesn't require o'scopes, and beginning shops of all are more focused on woodworking, metalcrafting and circuit wiring, It isn't an issue of pushing "that hard", it's that they weren't trying to teach math, they were trying to teach woodworking, metalcrafting and electrical circuit understanding, along with the safe and sane use of the related tools.
> > Shop was not combined with building telescopes, shooting rockets or > using the school planetarium, or fixing the electric ATVs or replacing > hard drives in the school rack. > > In a scouting environment, a push to understand geodesy (Earth > measure) more deeply than in either geometry or geography classes so > far, would be considered normal. > > The more advanced stuff may be studied in that bubble village you > needed to hike to (GPS helping). There's actually not a building > called a "school" (a "lodge" maybe, and the whole camp is > alternatively a "campus"). Shops with apprentices, on the other hand, > abound.
And what percentage of the above would actually prepare a student to thrive at any STEM subject at, say, MIT, as an incoming freshman?
You keep focusing on dessert, not the main course.
> >> >>> Orienteering is likewise not math. >>> >> Playing chess is not math, and yet mathematicians study chess. > > Yes, they do. Do they call it math, or do they call it chess? > > > What's the correlation between growing math skills (variously tested) > and playing board games involving strategy, card games involving > probability. Could playing poker improve computation skills? It > could provide a motivation. > > Schools often have a chess club, but it's not the math teachers job to > teach chess. At least not in North America in public schools. > There's a lot of uniformity in what goes on in those schools and you > can say with a fair amount of certainty that no math teacher has the > power / gall / defiance to make "learning chess" a mandatory activity > within his math class. > > It's not in the text book and the clock is ticking. He or she has > much to cover. > > "Chess is not part of the math we teach" is the verdict from on high. > I'd say that's the picture we face today.
I approve of the folks above you who aren't letting you identify time playing chess as "math". By all means, encourage students to play chess, play musical instruments, do orienteering on their own time and in other non-math classes that may involve those activities. It's all good.
> > > We find an ethnicity / subculture bound by arbitrary rules about what > "math" is, and a testing regimen that dares not dwell too much on card > games, asking which is the more probable hand, because card games > don't fit the puritanical mold and North Americans tend to be prudish > / puritanical to the point of being morons in many areas, performing > abysmally on many tests (including on tests about health). > > > > I recall in the college symphony that math, physics and > engineering majors dominated the percussion and brass sections. We > called it "music", not math, despite the mathematical > relationships specified by the musical notations, yet another bit > of technology that was developed over the last millennium. > > Really, Kirby, let's call the spade a spade. Math isn't > orienteering, chess, music or woodshop. > > -Greg > > > In your culture it's not, but these slices through semantic space are > somewhat arbitrary. > > We also have this arbitrary wall between math and computer science. > "Really, Kirby, lets call the spade a space[sic]. Computer science > isn't math, technology isn't engineering and science isn't math."
Kirby, do me a favor and don't manufacture quotes that you want to have readers link to me. I would not make that particular statement for a number of reasons. I do enthusiastically stand behind the statement I did make, that Math isn't orienteering, chess, music or woodshop. I'll go further and say I don't think I've met many music or shop teachers that should be teaching math, and, while I'm at it, all too few math teachers who should be teaching math.
> > Orienteering involves geodesy, chess is a topic in many math and > programming books, music and technology go together, wood > instruments... it's all STEM. > > That's part of the point of STEM, to break free of the labeling > schemes of your culture, the one we are not really trying to keep > alive (well past its pull date). There might not be a homecoming queen > either.
I'm relatively happy with the labeling schemes of the greater culture, which seems to roughly align with mine and those of your superiors. I'm also quite happy with how well my son has thrived in a *real* STEM environment, and not the loosey-goosey 'STEM is everywhere' that is the norm in some circles, including, it would seem, in yours.
In fact, your sentences immediately above are poster children for my desire to run from "STEM" as an organizing cry; there are some people who will point everywhere to all the STEM that is present and yet be oblivious to the fact that precious few students are graduating with the background to enter a solid 4 year collegiate science, engineering or math program and emerge a baccalaureate four years later. Or five or six years later.