Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Difference between Teachers and Education Experts

Teachers want to change education back to what worked for them and for their students. "I need them to study fractions because fractions (and more importantly, the numerical sense that fractions develop) are so important in algebra and in life in general. They need to study algebra because the abstract mathematical ability that algebra develops and reinforces is critical to every single job I've ever had contact with, or my students have had contact with. Etc."

Education Experts want to reform the system to something different than what worked to teach them -- even if it was effective. Consider Conrad Wolfram, brother to Steven of Mathematica fame. He wants to eliminate every educational system that produced him and his brother and replace it all with computer software-based learning.

Corollary: If the Expert didn't like algebra, it was because he was bored and the teacher should have given out cookies and made the course more ! F ! U ! N ! , forgetting that it was normal teenaged angst that colored his appreciation or lack thereof.

Second Corollary: Education Experts have not been in a classroom for at least twenty years or not at all, and seem to feel that their dim memories of angst-filled 10th grade are sufficient experience.


  1. Third Corollary(?): Not all "experts" are created equal? Let's hope so.

  2. Hear hear, Curmudgeon.

    And not only should we focus on fractions more, especially in the early grades, we need to use tables, not calculators, for the teaching of logarithms.

  3. I actually print out a set (made it in Excel) and print out two sliderule pieces so they can check out how I did those long equations in Chemistry way back when.