Dan, As one public school teacher to another, I want to ask you to continue to post your ideas on the list, even though I don't always agree with you. As someone who has been reading this list for about 9 months, I find it intersting that most of the posts come from college level people and so little from those of us in k - 12. Perhaps that speaks to the avaiability of technology, I don't know....Anyway, I find that it is interesting in that they (college level) have many ideas for us(k-12) to use in our classroom. I try to stay current and I use many so called inovative teaching strategies in my classroom, but do I think my students are learning more now than 10 years ago? The answer is no. Why is this so? I think much of the answer comes to the simple point that students don't study very hard these days. In my honors Trig class, much of the time I could count on my fingers the students who have actually attempted the few problems I have assigned to them, unless, of course, I said I would collect it for a grade. Then all of them will have it. Doing math problems for practice has little value to most of my students. In my non-honors Algebra 2 classes, I see even less out of class work being done. Maybe there are ways to successfully teach students math only using class time with no outside work, but I haven't found it. As k-12 teachers, we see the 50% of the students that college profs never teach. I can tell you that I do not think public schools have yet found the best way to teach all of our students. While the standards are great for some students, they miss out completely with others.
I'm sure I will get some interesting responses on this... -- R. Wayne Ellis phone: (804) 780-6052 (school) John Marshall High School (804) 321-8523 (fax) 4225 Old Brook Road Richmond, VA 23227 firstname.lastname@example.org