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-learn

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

Topic: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Replies: 22   Last Post: Jul 19, 2011 11:12 AM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Ralph A. Raimi

Posts: 724
Registered: 12/3/04
RE: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Posted: Jul 18, 2011 8:55 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply
att1.html (13.5 K)

On Sun, 17 Jul 2011, John Clement wrote:

> This is absolute nonsense. It is conspiracy theory pablum.

I select some parts of your email, each followed by a comment:

> There is evidence that even physics majors do not understand the concepts
> well. ...


Quite true.

> NOBODY has done it! Can you cite someone who has? Feynman failed to do it,
> and even says that in the preface to his lectures.


And with an audience of MIT science students.


> As an example of this I just taught a calculus based course to science
> majors. At the end I can show fairly high conceptual gain. But more
> importantly I have documented improvement in thinking skills...


I'll accept this, though I'm not sure what "conceptual gain" and
"thinking skills" are.

> I also recorde the full range of grades from F to A, and anyone who didn't
> put in the work either got an F or a D...


In a country where the average (classroom) grade is a B or better
your teaching is not average.


> As to social justice, that is achieved by providing the best opportunities
> to learn, with the understanding that failure is possible...


It is documented that in the Washington, D.C. schools, which are
obsessed with "social justice", grades are changed, poor students stay
home on exam days, answers are distributed before exams, etc. Where
"social justice" means that nobody fails, illiterate students are passed
along like Congressional deficits, until they are old enough to drop out.
Then the yearly drop-out rate is deplored, as if those drop-outs would
have learned something by staying the course.

> Now if you don't wish to believe that the average course does not improve
> student thinking try giving the Lawson test pre and post and see how much
> gain you get. ...


Quite so. Your run-down on your own teaching is not relevant to
the question of what the *average* behavior of the national education (to
use the French idiom) is in fact accomplishing, and it is these average
results which buttress the thesis that the education *establishment* does
not have the desire -- or maybe the ability -- to teach the content
of a reasonable math curriculum. Money poured into that establishment
year after year has yielded a zero gain in mathematical learning over a
twenty (?)- year period of measurement (NAEP, PISA, TIMSS)).

I don't believe the education research literature has made a bit
of difference in *average* classroom behavior in that time, though what
*is* documented is the flow of dollars to educational researchers, from
DOE and NSF-EHR, and the bitter complaint of upper-class parents whose
children attend classrooms influenced by textbooks written in guided
attempt to follow the educational practices the researchers advocate.
And the colleges of education continue to teach "method" without regard to
content. *Somebody* got those federal dollars that resulted in zero gain.
I cannot believe it is a mere "conspiracy theory" to think so.

It is not the difference in result between classes subjected to
lectures and classes who are given "hands-on" tasks that needs measuring.
The obvious really is obvious: Teachers cannot teach what they do not
know, and even less can, or do, they teach what their superiors tell them
is not necessary to know. The wave of ignorance we are suffering did not
begin yesterday, it is true, but the education establishment is not
addressing it.

Ralph A. Raimi Tel. 585 275 4429 or (home) 585 244 9368
Dept. of Mathematics, Univ. of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627
<http://www.math.rochester.edu/people/faculty/rarm/>




Date Subject Author
7/16/11
Read [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Richard Hake
7/17/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Dennis
7/17/11
Read RE: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
John Clement
7/17/11
Read [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Robert Hansen
7/17/11
Read [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Robert Hansen
7/17/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Zeev Wurman
7/17/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Ralph A. Raimi
7/17/11
Read RE: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
John Clement
7/17/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Robert Hansen
7/17/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Zeev Wurman
7/17/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Robert Hansen
7/17/11
Read RE: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
John Clement
7/17/11
Read RE: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
John Clement
7/18/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Robert Hansen
7/18/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Robert Hansen
7/18/11
Read RE: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
John Clement
7/18/11
Read Re: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Robert Hansen
7/18/11
Read [math-learn] RE: Math/science thinking skills Was(Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2)
John Clement
7/18/11
Read Re: [math-learn] RE: Math/science thinking skills Was(Lecture Isn't
Effective: More Evidence #2)
Ladnor Geissinger
7/18/11
Read Re: [math-learn] RE: Math/science thinking skills Was(Lecture Isn't
Effective: More Evidence #2) --- OOOPS
Ladnor Geissinger
7/19/11
Read Re: [math-learn] RE: Math/science thinking skills Was(Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2)
Robert Hansen
7/18/11
Read RE: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
Ralph A. Raimi
7/18/11
Read RE: [math-learn] Re: Lecture Isn't Effective: More Evidence #2
John Clement

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.