Date: Aug 27, 2013 10:46 AM
Author: Richard Strausz
Subject: Re: To K-12 teachers here: Another enjoyable post from Dan Meyer
> On Aug 26, 2013, at 8:25 PM, Richard Strausz
> <Richard.Strausz@farmington.k12.mi.us> wrote:
> > Bob, I mean that most of your criticisms of the
> blog posts and comments seem to be that you don't
> like the underlying curriculum - even though the
> curriculum varies for the various readers.
> Ok, now I am sorry I asked you to explain. I will
> explain, at least where I am coming from.
> Curriculum is the subject being taught and pedagogy
> is how it is being taught. You can't *actively* have
> one without the other. If I don't like a movie it
> might be because of the script or the acting, or
> both. It isn't because I am confused with which is
> In the case of Dan's blog, the subject is ALGEBRA.
> How do we know this? Because of all the references to
> algebra books and comparisons of his lessons to the
> lessons found in algebra books. And his pedagogy is
> the three act format, to put it simply.
> The problem...
> Dan is not teaching the subject he says he is
> teaching. Dan is not teaching the subject he keeps
> comparing his lessons to. He is clearly not teaching
> algebra. There is no reason for Dan to compare his
> lessons to those found 4 or 5 chapters deep in an
> algebra book. He is teaching arithmetic and
> pre-algebra reasoning. If Dan was teaching a
> pre-algebra class and using the problems in algebra
> books to design arithmetic versions so that the kids
> were better prepared for *algebra* later on then that
> might be a good thing. But his personal angst screws
> that up. It is his dislike for mathematics that leads
> him to dominate every lesson with a visual or tactile
> experience, rather than a mathematical experience. He
> obviously doesn't like math and why he even chose to
> teach it at one point is a puzzle. Maybe you can shed
> some light on this. I have offered my suggestion that
> the frustration with teaching struggling students
> could be the cause but I don't think Dan ever liked
> math, even before he was teaching.
> The bottom line...
> Dan and many of his readers do not understand
> algebra, and they have turned their angst with
> teaching it into a revolt against it. Their words and
> actions clearly indicate that this blog isn't as much
> for their student's benefit as it is for their own
> benefit. I showed you Kahn's site as an example of a
> site that brings the curriculum to the students. Kahn
> doesn't pervert and twist the subject around his own
> angst. The only feeling you get from Kahn is his
> enthusiasm for mathematics.
> I think you need to study more blogs in order to
> distinguish between the religious self serving blogs
> like Dan's and the student directed blogs like
> Kahn's. Or maybe it is religion you seek.
> Bob Hansen
Let's talk specifics. Here is the most recent post from Meyer.
Please share briefly what you like and what you don't about the pedagogy. It does seem to fit nicely into Algebra.