I do agree that people of all ages do not want to think here in this
country... (I have students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades who cant use a ruler
properly enough to make a 1 and 1/2 inch border around their work.) Thislack
of critical thinking has become a hot issue in NY, and state standards are
being raised, state testing in Math and Language is mandatory for 4th and 8th
grades, and Regents testing is mandatory for all. In Art, the push is for
portfolio assessment in the elementary grades as well as middle school, jr
high &hs. NYSATA is behind assessing student portfolios with adjudicators
and the ASSETS Project, a statewide assessment of standards in the arts. In
every discipline, efforts are being made to have students think and explain.
I wonder if it will help?
In a message dated 11/22/1999 7:11:15 PM Eastern Standard Time,
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 >>
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