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Topic: Re: Computer software
Replies: 1   Last Post: Mar 5, 1996 8:40 AM

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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Computer software
Posted: Mar 4, 1996 9:51 PM
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At 7:39 PM 3/4/96, wrote:

>Oh yeah, something else. I had 20 kids run and finish yesterday's LA Marathon
>due to a program called Students Run LA. About 1300 kids total ran the race.
>I often wonder how many kids we'd get to run if we set standards the way the
>NCTM does it.
>It would go something like this." Kids, we're going to run to become powerful
>and rich runners. We won't keep track of how far we've run or how fast we've
>run it. We'll always run in groups so nobody's self esteem is damaged. We
>won't run races because we know races aren't a good indicator of a person's
>running ability. We all know Mr. Hart is as good as Alberto Salazar; he's
>only differently speedy. We'll keep track of our running by portfolio without
>times or measurements."
>I wonder how many kids would excel with that credo.

Can't this thinking be turned toward the other extreme? Namely, how many
kids would run with the credo: Only winning counts?" Of course, this is a
perversion of the above post, but I think the above post tends to twist the
overall flavor of the NCTM Standards. For example, the purpose of group
work is not to prevent damaging self esteem: it's primarily to help kids
learn to work cooperatively (a MAJOR requirement of industry and business
these days, or so I've heard); to help make classroom discourse more
student-centered instead of teacher-dominated; to help students to
stimulate and evaluate one another's thinking through mathematical
argument, discussion, and problem-solving; and a host of other reasonable
(to me, at least) aims. Is group-work THE answer to teaching and learning?
Of course not, since nothing is. But I'd suggest that it has more to
recommend it than is suggested by the above post.

Further, teachers are free to "run all the races" they desire. The NCTM
simply suggests that there are many kinds of races and that evaluating and
husbanding student ability takes many kinds of tools among which races are
but one. It is truly a misrepresentation to suggest that the NCTM looks to
do away with evaluation and/or testing. What IS happening is that many
educators in mathematics are looking at a broader range of alternatives. Is
that an indication of decadence?

|Michael Paul Goldenberg
|University of Michigan 310 E. Cross St.
|School of Education 4002 Ypsilanti, MI 48198
|Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259 (313) 482-9585
|"I wish I knew as much about ANYTHING now
| as I knew about EVERYTHING when I was twenty."
| Bill Ayers

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