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Topic: Re: Elizabeth Green’s “Why D
o Americans Stink a t Math?”

Replies: 1   Last Post: Jul 30, 2014 11:02 PM

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Alain Schremmer

Posts: 876
Registered: 10/10/05
Re: Elizabeth Green’s “Why Do Americans Sti
nk a t Math?”

Posted: Jul 30, 2014 11:02 PM
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On Jul 29, 2014, at 7:36 AM, Domenico Rosa wrote:
> The 24 Sept. 1995 the CBS program "60 Minutes" did a follow-up story
> on Marva Collins

I had never heard of her so I looked her up in Wikipedia:
>> Marva Collins uses the Socratic method, modified for use in primary
>> school. The first step is to select material with abstract content
>> to challenge students' logic, and that will therefore have
>> different meaning to different students, in order to aid
>> discussion. This is done specifically to teach children to reason.
>> Next, the teacher should read the material, because unknown
>> material cannot be taught. New words, the words to watch, should be
>> listed, and taught, for pronunciation, use and spelling before the
>> material is read. Without this step, the reading is meaningless.
>> Next, one begins a series of pertinent questions as the reading
>> progresses, starting with a reference to the title, and a question
>> about what the material is about. Predictions should use logic,
>> reasoning and evidence without fallacy. The reading must be out
>> loud, so the teacher can ask questions at pertinent points.
>> Students are taught to test their reasoning. Afterward, they write
>> daily letters to the author or characters, and write a critical
>> review. Why is the work important to them? The child must be taught
>> to refer to what was previously learned to support their opinions.
>> In the Socratic method, the rate of information is controlled by
>> the teacher. Properly paced, this encourages participation,
>> reducing discipline issues and encouraging self-discipline. The
>> program specifically avoids work-sheets and inane busy work. It
>> establishes an intellectual atmosphere, a general attitude
>> suspending judgment, and examining reasoning.

My view entirely.

> and the highly successful schools that she operates in Chicago.

No wonder "[the school] closed in 2008 due to lack of sufficient
enrollment and funding."

> Mathematics education in the U.S. could be improved dramatically if
> her system of structured, direct instruction were implemented.
> Unfortunately, those who control the education business continue to
> promote one pseudo-educational boondoggle/fad after another. They
> keep pouring staggering amounts of money into the coffers of pseudo-
> educators, with a track record of abject failure, who have been
> promoting:
> 1. an incoherent curriculum that uses junk books.
> 2. haphazard methods of instruction.
> 3. fanciful theories of education.
> 4. assorted highly lucrative testing rackets.

Money talks.

Grateful regards

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