MATH TALK IN WSU PULLMAN
Date sent: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 21:20:42 +0000
To: arthurhu@mail1.halcyon.com
From: James Burts
Subject: Teachers buy into new Math. by way of Julanne Burts
Dear Arthur and Ed loop
Just received in the mail the Hill Topics newsletter from WSU in Pullman in
this article talks about new Math and the different names it has.
Article:
Talking Math Talk
I will quote some out of the article and summarize what the article says.
A Veteran teacher Linda Cooke talks about how just sitting in class and
doing math is not the way to go any more. She does not lecture any more to
students.
quote: { Then came along Steve Williams and Verna Adams members of the
college of Education faculty at WSU with the idea of encouraging and
videotaping classroom discussion. When Williams moved in 1992 Adams took
over the project. She wanted Cooke to try something new: replace
teacher-centered discourse about math.
At the same time new standards were released by the National Council of
Teachers of Mathematics that also emphasized communication between students.}
{The WSU researchers helped us encourage and evaluate communication in
class"Cooke says. "it was Vernal's idea to look at what she calls classroom
discourse what I call math talk.}
My opinion - they did not address the new assessments how the children are
failing this new and old experiment.
another quote; { One way to build Math communication skills is to have
students work on problems in groups. The goal is for everyone in the group
to be able to justify the solution to the class while displaying the answer
on an overhead projector.}
My opinion- this is more group think and remember some classes it can take
all day to work on one math problem time is wasted.
quotes: { Cooked smiles when she remembers the hours spent learning this
new way of teaching."We spent the summers analyzing video tapes with Verna"
she says. "little by little we incorporated math talk and learned its value.
my opinion- What value? this math has failed in the 70's it does not work
it is more touchy feeley math. OBE I should know I experienced new math
from first grade on up and I struggled all the way through school with
math. The math does not work on factual absolutes. The process becomes more
important than the answers.
quote: {Three years of continuing research funded with $344,000
from the National Science Foundation culminated in publication of their
findings and a presentation by Cooke and Adams at the NCTM national
conference in april of 96.Their research partnership concluded with
agreement that whether it's called discourse or math talk, getting students
to explain how they solved problems is best.}
My opinion- I don't have a problem with solving or explaining your answer
but you have to teach the basics of math sitting down and doing the
problems of real math and not all this group problem solving.
quotes: "Discourse is critical to learning math in a diverse society"
my opinion- Math is math folks no matter what society you live in. she also
quotes that she will not go back and teach the old way again.{Cooke}
quote; discourse in the classroom makes math more accessible to all
students Adams says and lessens the difference between boys and girls in
understanding math.
the article also talks about that Cooke received and was selected a 97
Christa McAulliffe fellowship teacher of the year award of 34,000 dollars
and will allow her to take a year's sabbatical leave to work with
Washington math teachers on student communication and problem-solving as
well as assessments.
while incorporating her experience with classroom discourse in the
college's preparation program for teachers.They want to build a model
program for teaching math discourse to teach math in a diverse society.
my opinion; Folks this is scary that older teacher's are willing to throw
away what works. I know that all teachers do not agree with this but they
need to speak up. We need to change the teaching practices and what the
teachers are being taught. Anybody can say this works. but it does not
work. they are ruining another generation of students that will not be able
to do math or function out in their jobs. I know as I said before instead
of going into anything that dealt with math I stayed away from a career
that I would have to work with math. I had a bad experience with the new
math. By not learning real math as I call it. self esteem goes down and the
student becomes extremely frustrated. In my opinion this is not excusable
we know how to teach reading and writing and math by the traditional
methods that have proven again and again to work.
This is child abuse in the classroom by not teaching systematic
comprehensive phonics and real math and real history etc.
we are doing our children a disservice to their whole life.
already kids in my area are struggling to read and do math. there is no
excuse. It is time for parents to stand up and say enough is enough.
Remember in HR6 educate america act states that systematic comprehensive
phonics is a dis proven theory. Folks they are following the law. As the
years go by and our teachers keep being taught all this progressive ed it
will get harder and harder to find good teachers in private schools and
public. unless we train them over again ourselves. In our private school
the children are learning real education they are all reading and doing
real math and doing quite well. I know the public schools could really
teach we did it before.
My father in law was poor when he was little and going through school in
Wenatchee and it was the public schools that gave him an education to get
beyond being poor and to give him a good job. He learned real academics and
now he is retired from a professors job in Etymology and has a doctorate
degree. worked at the research station in wenatchee and is held up by his
co-workers as one of the bet in his field he has come up with ideas on
pesticides that work but are gentle to the environment and so on if he did
not have this education he would not be where he is today.
Folks the public schools now keep people in poverty.
Julanne Burts