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Q&A #4990

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Teaching algebra in middle school

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From: Loyd <loydlin@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2002021709:16:19
Subject: Re: Re: Teaching Algebra in Middle School

I shudder when I hear someone say simply blame the teacher when a
student doesn't learn.  However, there are students that I have
attempted to teach, that simply don't learn very well even when taught
one-on-one.  

Most students have gaps in their math education so this affects
learning the current topic. These students can be helped by reteaching
the gaps they missed or failed to learn.  However, there are others
who have trouble learning the most basic concepts.  Schools are
putting them in algebra with the idea that with a good teacher all can
learn algebra equally.  

The last idea is noble and I try to make it true, but I suspect we
will always have trouble achieving the goal of turning out high school
graduates with equal knowledge and equal capability.  

I worked in an aircraft factory several years ago.  One employee, a
non highschool graduate, stood out above the crowd.  He was the one
everyone called when something mechanical didn't work.  He could build
or repair parts and do most any job that others didn't even know how
to begin.  Every one admired him.  He was given free reign on the
factory floor. There are many individuals with unique capabilitiess
and it not always algebra.

Now schools are eliminating technical schools and programs because ot
the requirements to pass standards examinations.   


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