On Apr 22, 2014, at 3:03 PM, Joe Niederberger <email@example.com> wrote:
> Bob Hansen continually points out that the blog has no math content, and he appears generally (or at least often) to be correct. But perhaps that not really what the dy/dan blog is for. Is it all a misunderstanding?
It is more than just lacking math, which itself would be impossible to do for so many years if their engagement/perplexity exercises had any real merit. They (Dan and many of the teachers on that blog) consciously avoid mathematics. They consciously avoid sophisticated thinking because they can?t handle it themselves. As Richard points out, it seems like just procedure to them. They avoid sophisticated thinking because of their own angst with the material, not their students?. That is the point that is important and why this group is so bad. This counter math culture they have invented, they invented for themselves, and the students just suffer the consequences. They get away with it because they are teaching disadvantaged youth with uneducated parents. It is probably unavoidable in this space. A bunch of underperforming students that don?t like math and a bunch of underperforming teachers that don?t like math. I guess they are bound to find each other eventually.
I wouldn?t be so critical if they would put a big disclaimer on this stuff. Not all of these disadvantaged youth are in the same mindset. Some of them can take to actual mathematics, if they are taught it. I have brought this up to this group and Richard before, but how are you ever going to get this point across with teachers that don?t understand mathematics and don?t understand that all they are doing is living out their own angst with mathematics? If any of these teachers ever showed up in my son?s classroom, they would be out of a job, guaranteed. I only say that because I feel guilty that I, and most people like me, don?t really put in the effort to rid the schools of these teachers when they are not in our own backyard. And I guess, who would we replace them with? Until education in this country becomes student centric, this is how it will be. And that doesn?t seem to be coming anytime soon. Education in this country is nothing but a business anymore. A very political! business at that. Just look at the way the colleges are stripping even blue collar workers of their meager earnings, for degrees they don't even need. Schools are like credit cards. Fine if you know how to use them, but a financial death sentence if you don't. And credit card companies are never going to own up to that because, it would kill their business. Likewise, schools are never going to own up to it either, for the same reason.