Date: Jun 4, 1995 6:33 PM
Author: Karen Dee Michalowicz
Subject: Equity
According to Tad Watanabe:

>

>

> Here is an extreme example I observed this past spring in a public school

> (fifth grade classroom). There was a boy in that class who had

> difficulty adding two three digit numbers. I'm not even sure what kind

> of number sense he had, but, I'm pretty sure the teacher knew he would

> not be able to understand any of the materials that were being discussed

> in the curriculum. Would it be ethical if the teacher simply taught the

> materials to the class, including that boy?

>

> I know this is an extreme case, but, what if the teacher knew some of

> his/her students would not understand the materials suggested in the

> curriculum? Maybe what I meant was if it would be ethical if the teacher

> taught the same curriculum to everyone in the same manner, especially

> when the teacher knows the materials are not appropriate to some of the

> students.

>

I am pleased that Tad is thinking about the equity issue.

However it is not an easy issue. I think before

some of us start talking about equity in the

classroom we need to do some reading and research. A place to

start is the new NCTM book entitled New Directions for Equity

in Mathematics Education.

Equity has many directions. In the situation described by Tad

the task is to provide the opportunity for every child to

succeed. If it was my classroom the fifth grader would have a

calculator if he had trouble adding. I'm sure we all realize

that students that are having such problems in fifth grade

probably have some math disability. Also, I'm sure many of us

realize that many students that have computational difficulties

actually understand what is happening in math. They need

challenges as well as the students without difficulties.

Bottom line, we need to be more informed about appropriate

pedagogy and content. And, we need to actually understand what

equity is. It isn't the same in every classroom. However,

there are universals that apply.

>

--

Cheers!

Karen Dee

Math History Lives!

Karen Dee Michalowicz VQUEST Math Lead Teacher/Trainer

Upper School Mathematics Chair Virginia Quality Education

The Langley School in Sciences and Technology

1411 Balls Hill Rd, McLean, VA

22012 USA

703-356-1920(w) E-Mail: kmichalo@pen.k12.va.us

Fax: (703) 790-9712 --or-- KarenDM@aol.com