Date: Jun 25, 2013 9:21 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Invitation to contribute to book for beginning teachers

Richard Strausz posted  Jun 25, 2013 4:39 PM (GSC's remarks follow):
> > To Robert, Kirby, Dom, and any others not in K-12:
> >
> > What advice would you give on any of the topics
> > mentioned?
> >
> > Richard

> I will contribute a couple of things related to
> asking questions in class.
> First, instead of saying "Fred, what is x + y?", it
> is better to say "What is x + y?; (pause) do you
> have an answer Fred?"
> In the first case, if your name isn't Fred, many
> students tune out the rest of the sentence. The
> second is more apt to get more students involved.
> ========
> Second, instead of saying "Here is an easy question:
> what is x + y?", it is better to either not classify
> the type of question at all or to say "This one is
> kind of tricky, but I think you can figure it out;
> what is x + y?"
> If you answer an 'easy' question, you haven't shown
> anything special, and if you get it wrong, does that
> mean you are dumb? I ask questions of the same level
> of difficulty as before, but I try to never refer to
> them as 'easy'.
> Richard
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Both suggestions constitute (IMHO) part of a very worthwhile approach to 'teaching + learning'. I am not a teacher myself, so I make these remarks as an 'outsider' who is keenly interested in the 'learning process'.

In general, the above-noted suggestions fit in well with the overall approach I recommend for <'teaching + learning' in a 'democratic regime'> which in general attempts to ENCOURAGE students to learn rather than to PUSH them to learn. (PUSHING children to learn is the approach preferred by some of us here at Math-teach, and we've had some interesting and hopefully useful exchanges at various threads on the relative merits of these two approaches).

Attachments to my post heading the thread "Democracy: how to achieve it" (see describe a 'practical systems approach to problem solving and decision making', which Professor Gerald Rising may find useful in many ways for the planning and execution of his book.


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