Robert Hansen (RH) posted May 3, 2014 2:43 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9453674): > > Can you list the comments you are speaking to? The > majority seem to relish the idea of having a debate > in class rather than teaching math. This is where I > feel that teachers should have real jobs for 5 years > at least, and then teach. I think most of the problem > with these teachers is that they have never done > anything real themselves, thus the constant search > for real. > > Bob Hansen > It would be MOST interesting indeed to find out what kind of jobs RH would accept as being 'real'. 'Teaching kids in school' presumably being classified as 'unreal' (in RH's opinion)???
IMHO, 'teaching' is quite a 'real profession'. Rather, I believe it should be regarded by society as being most 'real' AND being something of the highest possible value to society. In general (in most societies, except perhaps Finland), this is not the case at all. I know this is not the case in India. It is clearly not the case in the USA either, as RH's comments clearly indicate. I believe it is an 'attitudinal problem' that a great many stakeholders in most societies worldwide hold for the teaching profession. We in India also suffer from holding a rather similar unhealthy 'attitude' for the teaching profession.
[I do however agree with the idea that teachers do need a good bit of practical experience, particularly in 'managing group learning'. This is something that the schools of education - which Professor Bishop wishes to 'blow up' - should be helping their graduates to obtain. Doubtless there are various 'internship schemes' - which are clearly not very effective].
I have glanced at all 32 responses that are up at this time, and frankly didn't find much of interest in them - not even in the ones that Richard Strausz had judged to be 'notable' (#s 6, 12, 19 (3rd grade), 20, 23, 28). [Doubtless those were 'a bit' better than the others].
I believe Dan Meyer's column (http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2014/confab-money-duck/#commen) was not very well 'framed' (if that's the right word for the idea I'm trying to get across). He did get a 'potentially useful' discussion going, all right, but not much 'math knowledge' seemed to have developed from it (as RH claims).
But there was some indeed useful debate on 'teaching issues' - none of which was, in my view, *effectively* (or even adequately) capitalised on. Those 'teaching issues' are the heart of the matter (IMHO) - underlying is the question of how to enable and ensure that the teachers reading the blog actually realise that value in their daily practice? This has not, I believe, been adequately addressed.
This is the heart of the problem that Dan Meyer has not yet adequately worked out.
So what could be done to ensure some some '*real* pedagogical value' develops (/is realised) from the column? I have some ideas, but adequate interactive facilities aren't available at the Dan Meyer blog. Simply encouraging the teachers to respond is by no means 'sufficient' - though it is of course 'necessary'.
Dan Meyer might like to check out the attachments with my post heading the thread "Democracy: how to achieve it?" (http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536) - those outline some tools that could help quite significantly. I should have an OPMS website up later this year, where users could actually develop their own Action Planning from their own good ideas to realise their chosen 'Missions'.
Doubtless Robert Hansen would like to come out with claims that I shall be 'seeking funds' from those who seek to use that website - but such claims are falsehoods.