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Topic: Re: To K-12 teachers here: Another enjoyable post from Dan Meyer
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 28, 2013 7:24 AM

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Robert Hansen

Posts: 11,345
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Re: To K-12 teachers here: Another enjoyable post from Dan Meyer
Posted: Aug 28, 2013 7:24 AM
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On Aug 28, 2013, at 12:57 AM, GS Chandy <> wrote:

> I believe that this may be the problem what Dan Meyer is trying to 'fix'. He may not yet have 'resolved' that problem. Is he on the right track? I do not know: RH claims he is not.

More precisely, I claim that Dan is avoiding algebra altogether and not for pedagogical reasons, but for personal reasons. I liken what Dan is doing to a teacher that teaches creative writing but instead of teaching creative writing by teaching his students how to write, he creates plays in which they act out the parts. He does this because he has found that he does not enjoy teaching his students how to write and instead has more fun creating plays and having them act out the parts.

> But neither has Salman Khan resolved that problem! The problem Salman Khan has resolved is something else entirely!

No, Khan has certainly not solved that problem. I only suggest that Khan is supplying a component of math education that many students want and obviously lack in their normal classroom. Khan doesn't just provide "worked through examples" but provides worked through examples as if his students worked through them. His pace and his narrative makes what he does valuable. If there is no linkage between pedagogy and worked through examples then we really should stop using the word "pedagogy" because we don't know what it means.

As a counter example, I had a professor in Fourier Optics that would spend the whole 90 minutes filling up two large chalkboards with complex derivations. For those 90 minutes he worked feverishly, like an automaton, and I am certain he knew how to do the math. What he didn't know is how to do the math in front of his students. Other than that, he was a decent and enthusiastic teacher.

Bob Hansen

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