Q&A #2916

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Accelerated Math program

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From: Ryan Maksymchuk

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2003050516:51:52
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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