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Re: To K12 teachers here: Another enjoyable post from Dan Meyer
Posted:
Aug 27, 2013 6:35 AM



On Aug 26, 2013, at 8:25 PM, Richard Strausz <Richard.Strausz@farmington.k12.mi.us> wrote:
> Bob, I mean that most of your criticisms of the blog posts and comments seem to be that you don't like the underlying curriculum  even though the curriculum varies for the various readers.
Ok, now I am sorry I asked you to explain. I will explain, at least where I am coming from.
Curriculum is the subject being taught and pedagogy is how it is being taught. You can't *actively* have one without the other. If I don't like a movie it might be because of the script or the acting, or both. It isn't because I am confused with which is which.
In the case of Dan's blog, the subject is ALGEBRA. How do we know this? Because of all the references to algebra books and comparisons of his lessons to the lessons found in algebra books. And his pedagogy is the three act format, to put it simply.
The problem...
Dan is not teaching the subject he says he is teaching. Dan is not teaching the subject he keeps comparing his lessons to. He is clearly not teaching algebra. There is no reason for Dan to compare his lessons to those found 4 or 5 chapters deep in an algebra book. He is teaching arithmetic and prealgebra reasoning. If Dan was teaching a prealgebra class and using the problems in algebra books to design arithmetic versions so that the kids were better prepared for *algebra* later on then that might be a good thing. But his personal angst screws that up. It is his dislike for mathematics that leads him to dominate every lesson with a visual or tactile experience, rather than a mathematical experience. He obviously doesn't like math and why he even chose to teach it at one point is a puzzle. Maybe you can shed some light on this. I have offered my suggestion that the frustration with teaching struggling students could be the cause but I don't think Dan ever liked math, even before he was teaching.
The bottom line...
Dan and many of his readers do not understand algebra, and they have turned their angst with teaching it into a revolt against it. Their words and actions clearly indicate that this blog isn't as much for their student's benefit as it is for their own benefit. I showed you Kahn's site as an example of a site that brings the curriculum to the students. Kahn doesn't pervert and twist the subject around his own angst. The only feeling you get from Kahn is his enthusiasm for mathematics.
I think you need to study more blogs in order to distinguish between the religious self serving blogs like Dan's and the student directed blogs like Kahn's. Or maybe it is religion you seek.
Bob Hansen



