Q&A #2916

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Accelerated Math program

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From: Ryan Maksymchuk

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2003050515:51:52
Subject: What are parents and students saying about AM??

There are some fascinating discussions and some very strong opinions on this message board. Kudos to those parents and teachers who feel the need enough to come on here and speak frankly. Thoughtful critical analysis of any educational practice being used with children is valuable. Anyway... This is my third year of using Accelerated Math in various capacities in my classroom. For the record, I teach mostly 11th and 12th grade math students in a program called "Applied Mathematics" in Manitoba, Canada. I'm certainly a convert, and in my humble opinion, any criticisms of the product as a whole are far outweighed by the merits(at least in my world) for the simple reason that my students do so much more math than they would in a very traditional situation. I do have some concerns about multiple choice question issues, and I'm not crazy about how some of the objectives are fairly limited in their scope, but I'm optimistic that over time, the product will improve. I'm also not happy about my students learning only how to do 'type problems' or 'these kind' as opposed to the specific learning outcome. However, the way the system is supposed to work is mastery-based learning at it's best. For the most part, my students are hooked, but I still supplement what they do with other homework, instruction, and varied programming. A total Accelerated Math approach at the secondary school level might be, for lack of a better explanation, too boring. It may also get a little intimidating... Teachers, how many objectives would you cover in a semester for a single secondary school math course??

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