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Topic: Re: What do exams evaluate?
Replies: 43   Last Post: Aug 2, 2000 12:55 PM

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Wayne Bishop

Posts: 4,996
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Liping Ma
Posted: Jul 21, 2000 1:20 PM
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Thanks, Carol. Well done and very helpful.

Wayne.
----------------------------------------------------------

At 01:42 PM 7/20/00 -0700, Carol Fry Bohlin wrote:
>>At 09:33 PM 7/15/00 -0400, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:
>>

>>>Since I'm seeing Liping Ma on Wednesday, loaded with questions
>>>for her, and since I'm now nearly done with her book, ...

>>
>>Report please? Thanks in advance.
>>
>>Wayne.

>
>Hi, All--A few folks who have read my informal report of Liping Ma's
>visit to Fresno last week have asked me to share it on this listserv
>as well as the NCSM list. I've hesitated a bit since it is a rather
>informal report & because it hasn't been edited by Liping for 100%
>accuracy (although I do take pretty decent notes and we do have a
>back-up videotape for verification :-) . With those caveats, I offer
>my recollection of Liping's visit!
>
>July 12, 2000
>
>This afternoon, Liping Ma provided a 3-hour presentation for the San
>Joaquin Valley Mathematics Project's Summer Institute in Oakhurst and
>then participated in a dinner/presentation for 3 hours tonight in
>Fresno. She was a big hit at both places! The Fresno County Office of
>Education and SJVMP sponsored the events. We all found Liping to be
>very friendly, personable, interesting, and knowledgeable. (She
>expressed great interest in returning to the institute next year,
>with a side trip to Yosemite with her family.)
>
>Liping described the research in her book to the folks tonight,
>answered questions, and autographed books (she was provided earlier
>with 100 book plates to sign, so each person in attendance received
>one). She's under contract with Education Partners to write
>elementary math curriculum. She's not interested in writing anything
>for teachers now, believing that if she writes elementary curricula
>(books) with excellent math content, teachers will learn from
>teaching out of the books. She believes the evidence shows that in
>China teachers learn math by teaching it (doesn't happen in the US,
>where beginning teachers have the same math knowledge as seasoned
>teachers; she thinks it's because of the textbooks). Someone asked
>about the books from Singapore that have been translated into
>English--whether these were good to use. She said she thinks it's a
>mistake to translate/use these or other books (from other countries)
>because the cultures are so very different and "this aspect really
>matters."
>
>She did say at the beginning of the discussion of her book that "my
>research is not a strict comparative study" (she wasn't sure if she
>interviewed the "best" US teachers, whereas she tried to get some
>excellent teachers--in fact, a range of teachers--for her Chinese
>interviews). Deborah Ball had already interviewed the US teachers
>with the same 4 questions/scenarios that Liping used for her study
>with Chinese teachers.
>
>Ma's book shows that students are given lots of opportunities to
>develop number sense (she didn't use that term)--decomposing numbers
>readily and solving arithmetic problems in multiple ways. She said
>that many weeks are spent in first grade on the numbers 1 to 10. The
>students spend several days working with just one number (how to
>compose the number, how to write it, etc.). In China, they believe
>that if you learn the concept WELL the first time, you can pick up
>speed with other concepts later. They teach addition and subtraction
>together, and multiplication and division together. Students learn
>their 2-5 multiplication tables during the latter half of first grade
>(cut-off date for being 6 years old and entering first grade is in
>Sept., not Dec. like in California.). Teachers believe that learning
>the multiplication tables helps the children to understand better the
>numbers through 100.
>
>She reiterated that future elementary teachers don't go beyond 12th
>grade themselves--many start teaching when teenagers. (It's a matter
>of finances.) They don't understand very high level math, but they
>understand the math that they teach very deeply (conceptually), as
>evidenced in her book. Their explanations are quite sophisticated.
>She believes that K-6 teachers don't need upper level math courses
>like calculus, but need to focus more on studying elementary
>mathematics concepts.
>
>She was asked what she thought of algebra in the 8th grade. She
>laughed and said that students in China take it in 7th grade and
>think it is easier than arithmetic. "If you learn arithmetic well,
>algebra is easy."
>
>If a student does not master a concept during school hours (and in a
>typical class of 60, that isn't rare!), he or she would stay after
>school to work on the concept. Discipline problems are not rampant;
>the rare disobedient student is sent out of class to the
>office--parents always support the teachers.
>
>Someone asked about calculator use. She said that there's no strict
>policy on calculator use in China, but they don't teach how to use
>calculators in grades 1-4. They don't say "you cannot use them,"
>though; students have the option. In fact, she said her 7-year-old
>son has learned a lot of math by playing around with a
>calculator--the latest thing he has learned is negative numbers. (Her
>16-year-old daughter confirmed that she didn't teach him about them.)
>
>In the cities (in China), math teachers only teach 16 periods of math
>each week (they have 4 hours per day free to plan lessons, grade
>papers, etc.). In rural areas, they would teach more subjects.
>
>To get moved up on the pay scale in China, you need to give public
>lessons and publish something (like a lesson). It didn't sound like
>they had as organized a collection of "lesson study" lessons as in
>Japan.
>
>I asked about pendulum swings--I imagined that they didn't experience
>them as much in China as we do here. She said that China is very
>conservative and careful about change--they have adopted many new
>ideas that they learned in the U.S. (e.g., group work,
>student-centered classes, manipulatives, etc.), but they didn't throw
>away the old when they did. In fact, they keep the same textbook for
>at least 10 years. In Japan, it's 20 years. However, the philosophy
>and structure are much the same revision to revision. (And, of
>course, you can hold the entire elementary curriculum in one hand.)
>
>It was a great evening! (After New Jersey next week, she's heading
>home for a well-deserved break!)
>
>Carol
>7/12/00
>
>*****************
>Carol Fry Bohlin
>California State University, Fresno
>
>
>





Date Subject Author
7/7/00
Read Re: What do exams evaluate?
Wayne Bishop
7/7/00
Read Re: What do exams evaluate?
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/15/00
Read Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/15/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop
7/15/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
WATANABE Tadanobu
7/18/00
Read subscribing or unsubscribing
Mark Klespis
7/19/00
Read Re: subscribing or unsubscribing
Susan Beal
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Greg Goodknight
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Mark Klespis
7/16/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/17/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop
7/17/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/17/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop
7/17/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/17/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop
7/17/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/17/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop
7/18/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/18/00
Read A question about content.
Paul S. Ache III
7/18/00
Read Re: A question about content.
WATANABE Tadanobu
7/18/00
Read Re: A question about content.
Guy Brandenburg
7/19/00
Read Re: A question about content.
Wayne Bishop
7/19/00
Read Re: A question about content.
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/19/00
Read Re: A question about content.
Guy Brandenburg
7/19/00
Read Re: A question about content.
Wayne Bishop
8/1/00
Read Re: one person's opinions
Murray H. Siegel
8/1/00
Read Re: one person's opinions
Michael Paul Goldenberg
8/2/00
Read Director for the Math Forum sought
Carol Fry Bohlin
7/19/00
Read Re: A question about content.
me@talmanl1.mscd.edu
7/19/00
Read Re: A question about content.
CJ Masenas
7/19/00
Read Re: A question about content.
Guy Brandenburg
7/19/00
Read Re: A question about content.
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/18/00
Read Data for teaching functions
Stephen Sproule
7/18/00
Read trip to japan
Susan Beal
7/18/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
me@talmanl1.mscd.edu
7/20/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop
7/20/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Carol Fry Bohlin
7/21/00
Read Re: Liping Ma
Wayne Bishop

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