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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Lawrence A. Parker/OCCTI (occti)
Mon, 22 Nov 1999 18:33:00 -0500


> > Q.E.D. - and there are ways to get them to do that,.
> What is qed?

Short hand for the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum". Literally, "that
which was to be demonstrated or shown," usually given or assumed at the end
of an argument when the (logical) conclusion has been reached. In the
vernacular, "See, that's what I was trying to prove and I just did it."

In my case, or the case you presented, there are many of us who contend that
children in school (and many adults out of it) don't think, don't want to
think, and that schools and teacher education colleges are not effectively
addressing this most basic problem.

I just read a most distressing report in the Alliance (OH) Review about a
Stanford research project involving 23 American Math teachers. The project
was done by Liping Ma. 11 of the teachers were taken from a program
entitled "Educational Leaders in Mathematics," for teachers chosen for
advanced training so they can guide other teachers in their districts.
These teachers averaged 10 years of teaching experience. The other 12 were
mathematics teachers working on their master's degree.

The teachers were asked to solve the problem "7/4 divided by 1/2."

Of the 23 teachers, only 9 got the right answer. On the second part of the
test, the teachers were asked to make up a real-world situation or story
problem to illustrate the calculation. Only one teacher succeeded "- if you
think that a question whose answer is '3 1/2 people' counts as success."

These results were compared to 72 Chinese teachers, urban and rural, who
typically receive much less formal education than our own teachers. Of the
72, ALL of the Chinese teachers got the answer, and 65 of the 72 were able
to come up with sample problems, many of them more than one.

Scarier yet? The same test was given to some Chinese ninth graders. They
also did better than the American teachers.

To look at this further, there is a review of the study by Roger Howe,
professor of Mathematics at Yale, in the Sept. issue of the "Notices of the
American Mathematical Society," available at .


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