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Topic: ICMI Study 22: Task Design in Maths. Education
Replies: 5   Last Post: Jul 15, 2013 12:08 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: ICMI Study 22: Task Design in Maths. Education
Posted: Jul 14, 2013 11:29 PM
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Responding to Wayne Bishop's post dt. Jul 15, 2013 2:36 AM. I respond here to the initial comments made by Professor Bishop. (Professor Bishop's post is copied for ready reference below my signature):

>Au contraire, mon ami. I have addressed it many times in many discussions groups and testimony and depositions before several school boards in several states.
Well, I AM truly sorry - the only recommendation I had seen from you here at Math-teach (at least, the only one that properly came to my attention) was that one about blowing up the schools of education. If I have misstated your position in any way, my most sincere regrets.

1. What has been the outcome of your suggestions at discussion groups, testimony and depositions? If those suggestions, etc have not actually led to action, in practice on the ground, you may like to look at the 'One Page Management System' (OPMS) to help you ensure precisely that.

2. Have you seen 'systemic improvement' in your education system in the USA? If yes, you are doing something right. If no (and that is the impression I get from the dialogue I see at Math-teach and at other forums) then you should think of applying Warfield's insights into systems. I will guarantee they will help. The OPMS, mentioned above, is - to the best of my knowledge - the tool that enables such application in the simplest and most direct way.

You will doubtless ask why I do not ensure that we do this here in India. I do, indeed, try in every way that's available to me: 'educators' in India are just as close-minded and recalcitrant as are those in the USA - if truth be told, they are probably MUCH more close-minded and recalcitrant than are those in the USA.

(It may well have been such recalcitrance that led you and Haim to issue your trenchant calls to "BLOW UP!" and "JAIL!", etc. While I understand the frustrations that may have led you to issue such demands, I must tell you that this way simply cannot ever work - unless, perhaps, you blow up the WHOLE system -[and probably that won't work either as you will then have to be tackling the whole world]).

In general I have found 'educators' to be entirely unwilling to work in any way that they have not already been working in the past - despite the fact they already know that their existing methods have failed thus far.

This is a phenomenon amongst 'expert educators' that you may have encountered yourself (as I've suggested above). It is a phenomenon that holds also amongst 'expert managers'; 'expert politicians'; 'PERT Chart experts'; and the like. I believe this may well be a 'system characteristic' amongst 'experts' in ALL fields!

(Even using the OPMS, I have not yet managed to figure out how to tackle this system problem - though I do have some ideas that I am now trying to develop and implement).


Wayne Bishop posted Jul 15, 2013 2:36 AM:
>At 08:54 PM 7/13/2013, GS Chandy wrote:

>> I observe that Professor Wayne Bishop has criticized ICMI-22 at his post dt. Jul 12, 2013 10:51 AM (, but, as usual, has not indicated any way out of the impasse he criticizes.

>Au contraire, mon ami. I have addressed it many times in many discussions groups and testimony and depositions before several school boards in several states. How you get there is your business; real "standards" clearly specify content competencies, not how you get there, to be assessed using independent measures of content competencies specified. If you like task-based instruction and get the job done, my applause. But it is standard in the industry to do a "bait and switch" at assessment time, and that's a no-no. In spite of all the curriculum development (and assessments written by the same people) bought by hundreds of millions of NSS-EHR dollars. A few years after the NCTM "Standards" first came out, one of its biggest supporters came out with this gem (I believe Ze'ev was the one who kept it from "falling through the cracks") by the PI of the curricular development portion of the UCSMP of Everyday Mathematics fame that asserts its CCSS (national instead of int!
ernational) but the same idea:

>> "Let us drop this overstated rhetoric about all the old tests being bad. Those tests were used because they were quite effective in fitting a particular mathematical model of performance - a single number that has some value to predict future performance. Until it can be shown that the alternate assessment techniques do a better job of prediction, let us not knock what is there. The mathematics education community has forgotten that it is poor performance on the old tests that rallied the public behind our desire to change. We cannot pick up the banner but then say the tests are no measure of performance. We cannot have it both ways."

>> Zalman Usiskin What Changes Should Be Made for the Second Edition of NCTM Standards. UCSMP Newsletter, n12 pp. 10 (Winter 1993)

>My hick language for the concept has long been, "Dance with the guy what brung ya." It was good advice two decades ago and it still is.

Message was edited by: GS Chandy

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