Wednesday, May 20, 2009

From 2003 NYC ... this does not work
How not to teach Math .. Everyday

In the City Journal --by Matthew Clavel
How Not to Teach Math
New York’s chancellor Klein’s plan doesn’t compute.
7 March 2003

It wasn’t working. We’d gone through six straight wrong answers, and now the kids were tired of feeling lost. It was only October, and already my fourth-grade public school class in the South Bronx was demoralized. Day after day of going over strange, seemingly disconnected math lessons had squelched my students’ interest in the subject.

Then, quietly, 10-year-old David spoke up. “Mr. Clavel, no one understands this stuff.” He looked up at me with a defeated expression; other children nodded pleadingly. We had clearly reached a crossroads. How would Mr. Clavel, a young teacher, inexperienced but trying hard, react to David’s statement—so obvious to everyone in the class that it didn’t even require seconding?

...... Since kindergarten, most of them had been taught math using this same dreadful curriculum, called Everyday Mathematics—a slightly older version of a program that New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein has now unwisely chosen for most of Gotham’s public elementary schools; the district had phased in Everyday Mathematics grade by grade, and it had just reached fourth grade during my first year of teaching.

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