The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: Phederal Phunds for Phony STEM Preparation
Replies: 7   Last Post: Jul 17, 2013 11:31 AM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Phederal Phunds for Phony STEM Preparation
Posted: Jul 15, 2013 10:44 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Wayne Bishop posted Jul 15, 2013 10:17 AM (GSC's remarks interspersed):
>At 10:18 PM 7/14/2013, GS Chandy wrote:
>> Jerry Becker posted Jul 15, 2013 12:18 AM:
>> > ******************************
?> > From Education Week Teacher, Tuesday, July 9, 2013.
>> > Survey: Teachers Spend $485 Per Year on Their Classrooms
>> > By Liana Heitin // By guest blogger Sean Cavanagh
>> >

>> A fascinating story indeed! And it confirms to me a lot that I had seen from my own school days decades ago; also, that teachers have not changed a great deal since then.

>Mine as well and I can be very specific.

Well, we can, no doubt, each one of us, be specific. I'm certain we all have worthwhile anecdotes about one or more effective teachers. The real issue is:

HOW TO ENSURE THAT BECOMES THE NORM (earlier 'RULE') IN THE 'SYSTEM' (instead of the quite rare exception)?

(Not claiming that ALL teachers can become 'great teachers'. I AM claiming that the great majority of teachers can become *effective* teachers).
>> Questions NOT clarified in the article:
>> =========
>> 1. How many of the teachers who had been spending their own money to help their wards learn are/ were members of 'Teachers Unions'?

>Mine was not. One-room country school house?! My younger sister and I were just starting K and 1st grade, respectively, when the county (oversight of all such schools in one of the 99 counties of Iowa) when the latest research-based "Dick and Sally" reading revolution was imposed. Out with phonics, in with "Look-Say". What could go wrong? Best education school in the country, the University of Chicago School of Education!

Just being the "best education school in the country" in an ineffective education system is not the greatest of recommendations.
>>For background, Google: Dick and Sally Look-Say Chicago
>For example:
> "Not until 1962 did the firm become one of the >first publishers to liberate schoolchildren from the >Dick-Jane-and-Sally "look-say" approach to reading, and >to ..."

I don't know a lot about the specifics of your US education system (except for graduate school where I attended umpteen years ago).

I do know that a great many ideas and practices of the US education system are practiced here in India - and they are extremely ineffective in general.

The ineffectiveness springs from the fact that no one seems to realise that the underlying reality to be tackled is the 'system' of education, NOT just about the "Dick-Jane-and-Sally "look-say" approach to reading" or the incorrect theory and practices promoted by University of Chicago School of Education. These are details that would generally come right when the 'system' is set right. The details will NEVER come right when the 'system' is not adequately understood.
>Of course, millions of kids across the US and the English-speaking world had been damaged by that time and still decades to go before the University of Chicago finally did "blow up" its illustrious School of Education by then long since involved with new research-based ways of avoiding using phonics to teach a phonetic language. That's a hard lesson to learn without professional help from the heart of the Education Mafia, our schools of education.

Well, my claim always has been (and still is) that "blowing up" the schools of education just will not work. Thus the University of Chicago did "blow up" its 'illustrious School of Education' - and what's happened to education since? Any improvement?

On the other hand, it has been (and still is) my claim that if the people at that 'illustrious School of Education' at the University of Chicago had worked on the issue "improving our systems" they could have gotten somewhere (and US education also could have gotten somewhere).
>Back to my own teacher's experience, what did she do? Being an experienced teacher, after a few months, she realized how horribly wrong the concept was because of how badly it was working (better said, NOT working) and went out and bought a phonics-based reading series for us to use.

Right. She used 'common sense' to do something right. 'Common sense' often does work where advanced theories do not. (The 'advanced theories' could certainly work if based effectively on common sense and a sound view of the 'systems' they deal with).
>The focus of this listserve is mathematics teaching, of course, but it really is relevant.

Of course math teaching IS relevant. I believe it also is fundamental (because our understanding of math is fundamental to our understanding of practically everything else. [Yes, this is an unproven claim, for which considerable evidence can be provided, if ever we discuss the 'structures underlying 'understanding in general' and the 'understanding of math'].
>Feel free to extrapolate to professional mathematics education and professional science education.

I'm NOT extrapolating.
>Been wrong for many decades and will continue to be wrong for decades to come.

Yes. They will not cease to be wrong by "blowing them up". They COULD possibly cease to be wrong if someone looks at them as 'systems'.
>New names for old failed ideas? Sure, whatever it takes. Anything but sensible teaching.

I ALWAYS claim the FIRST thing to ensure is 'sensible teaching' ('Qualification' Q: Though what you mean by 'sensible teaching' seems to be rather different from what I mean by it - if we are to judge by your prescription of "blowing things up").
>And most damaging in low socioeconomic, low education communities that have fewer available safety valves Forgive them; they know not what they do.

Indeed they know not what they do. And neither do you - to judge by your universal prescription to "BLOW UP THE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION!".

In any case, the FIRST thing is to ensure 'sensible teaching' (but see 'Q' above).


Message was edited by: GS Chandy

Message was edited by: GS Chandy

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.