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Topic: Using the Standards
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Posts: 4
Registered: 12/6/04
Using the Standards
Posted: Jul 16, 1995 4:11 PM
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I admit it - I've read the C and E Standards. In my former role as a math
coordinator of a Preschool-12 school district (9 years), I found the CE
Standards most usable to open discussion and expand thinking. We did a
District curriculum study of our mathematics program and we bought copies of
the Standards for every building. We spent two years looking at our
curriculum, where we wanted it to be, what we wanted to deemphasize and what
we wanted to drop (the hardest part.) We did not view the Standards as a
Bible, but rather as a challenge to our thinking. We knew the technology had
changed the role of mathematics education, but we weren't ready to dump all
the curriculum we had grown up with. We're moving in that direction slowly .
. . but surely. The past two years I've used the Professional Teaching
Standards as an organizer for Demonstration classroom discussions. They
provide a powerful picture of what a mathematics learning community can look
like and provide a context for discussion after we have observed the demo
classrooms. I have yet to read the final version of the assessment
standards, but I am sure they also will provide a powerful tool for learning.
I have found the content in the Standards to be thought-provoking and, yes,
a standard to work towards. Many teachers in our district are in the
twilight of their teaching careers. These documents have provided a very
usable means of challenging their thinking. They also provide a learning
tool for our new teachers. (In fact, I am disappointed when I interview
potential candidates and they don't know what the Standards are or what they
say. I find this most often among our candidates for secondary classrooms
(they've had lots of mathematics, but not as much pedagogy as the elementary
teachers. Many times the candidates sound as though they could have come out
of school in the 60s. Their thinking could use a kick start into the next
century as well as the seasoned teachers.)
I don't know that this moves this conversation ahead, but I thought perhaps
we could discuss ways in which we had used the Standards and how it worked.

Tonya Urbatsch
Director of Staff Development/Student Assessment
Davenport, Iowa

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