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Topic: Curriculum Maps Needed
Replies: 4   Last Post: Nov 4, 2008 12:02 PM

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Kirby Urner

Posts: 4,713
Registered: 12/6/04
Curriculum Maps Needed
Posted: Nov 1, 2008 7:08 PM
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One consequence of a more student centered approach is
we give more responsibility for sequence to the
individual, yet still have a list of vital topics we want
covered, or at least visited. This suggests a "theme
park" metaphor where the rides are clearly labeled and
described, with suggested segues between them, but with
few stipulations regarding a "one right order" (though
you may have seen in the gym, where they hand out
"scenarios" or "storyboards" with possible workouts --
abs intensive, leg focused etc.).

For example, Pascal's Triangle is a grand central station,
as I've many times mentioned, but some kids are coming
from a polyhedral numbers angle, finding familiar
sequences like triangular and tetrahedral numbers,
whereas others are in the midst of binomial theorem
applications, looking at rows as coefficients in some
polynomial expansion of (a + b)**n. We have teachers or
guides at each exhibit, understanding of where a student
might be coming from, and with advice on where to go
next, but having a map in hand is sometimes most what
one needs.

Probably states with the more advanced boards of advisers
have already picked up on this networked approach, is it
traces back to "mind maps" which many schools have been
teaching for some decades now. Small wonder then, that
as graduates of these programs would reach adulthood and
assume responsibility, that the math curriculum itself
should come to resemble a "mind map" in many ways.

Of course we still have the older, more traditional
concepts of "spiral" and "outline", the latter more of a
tree, i.e. a traditional sequence. Sometimes we just
need to use scissors to slice tables of contents apart,
glue them to construction paper, use color coded yarn to
show possible pathways. That's a primitive approach,
more suitable to workshops than published writings on
the subject, but it gives the idea. 3x5 cards also
useful.

Kirby

PS: if this "theme park" approach seems reminiscent of
Lou Talman's postings to this archive, that's probably
no coincidence.



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