Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Maths Teaching

Here we have a new idea which Professor Boaler reckons we should enthusiastically adopt. Hopefully the words California and Academic have set alarm bells ringing and you will of course note that it violates Chalk's 5th Law of Teaching which clearly states: "Never pay any Attention to Academics"

This is one of those nice, warm cozy ideas so beloved of Teacher Training institutions. Everyone is working together to help one another, probably with a load of coloured bricks and some elastic bands, rather than learning how to do any real sums in an exercise book. It ticks all the boxes necessary for it to be taken seriously; ie a title nobody can understand, the promise of inclusivity and lots of buzzwords such as Facilitator and Resource Manager. (Mind you, it's important for kids to get used to words like these if they are going to get jobs in the Public Sector)

What would actually happen is that the bright kids would rapidly get fed up of helping the duffers, complain to their parents who would then start complaining to the school, suggesting that instead of their own children being asked to teach, perhaps the teacher could do it.

I love Carlos Cabana who managed to get the word 'thick' into his comment without upsetting anyone: "You have to help them find their confidence even if it is buried under some thick layers of ice" Eh?

Anyway, I have agreed to go on a fact finding mission to Ocean Beach, San Diego (28 Degrees C yesterday) and will report back soon on a new technique pioneered by myself and provisionally known as 'Stand at the front, teach them how to do sums, then get them to practice a few'

Hmm. maybe the title needs some work...


Chris said...

Sounds like little more than an attempt to revive the old 'monitor system' of teaching (essentially an educational pyramid scheme where the teacher teaches senior students, who then pass on their knowledge to juniors. Net result: errors accumulate, but a single teacher can 'teach' ~100 pupils).

IIRC that method of education was supposed to have been discredited back in Charles Dickens' day. Sounds like California is reinventing the square wheel.

Anonymous said...

Not relevant to this post, but what do you make of this Mr Chalk?

Wrong answers were marked as correct "to "accommodate" pupils who were working at a level lower than level 5 - the standard expected of the age group."

Anonymous said...

It's called "helping to develop self esteem".

Anonymous said...

The fact the term "duffers" is used clearly shows NO concern for self esteem I'm afraid.