Hidden Curriculum - DOING MATHEMATICS


Unfortunately, Bryan Meyer's action research shows that his students have developed beliefs that aren't uncommon in school mathematics: that mathematics is something that comes from their text or teacher and it's their job to "absorb" it. As these feelings are closer to beliefs than knowledge, they can be more resistant to change, even when they seem to conflict with other beliefs.

evangelizing the (digital) natives: What Alton Brown Taught Me About Education Technology


As someone with an interest in education technology and as a fan of Alton Brown, I like this message, particularly the bit about "unitasking." In fact, if Microsoft is smart about the marketing of Windows 8 and the Surface line of tablets (or similar devices from partners), they'll argue that one Surface does tablet and notebook functions well enough that you don't have to have separate devices (i.e., a MacBook and an iPad) that end up costing hundreds more and together are bulkier to carry. This also reflects my concern for Chromebooks - despite being capable of a lot of things, it's hard to imagine me making it through the day with a Chromebook without needing to use a standard notebook or desktop for the few things it can't do (or do well). That might not make a Chromebook a uni-tasker, but it still makes it an "extra" device with functionality I can find in a more powerful tool.

Boulder Valley schools gear up for math standards changes - Boulder Daily Camera


Perhaps the greatest challenge in adopting the Common Core State Standards for math that few are talking about is a need to equip teachers and curriculum coordinators with the knowledge and power to strip away old content that the new standards don't address. Teachers and students will never have the time to go deeper into topics without sacrificing some of the content they've grown accustomed to teaching.

15 must-read books about K-12 education in the US - 'Saving the School: The True Story of a Principal, a Teacher, a Coach, a Bunch of Kids and a Year in the Crosshairs of Education Reform,' by Michael... - CSMonitor.com


Although I try to stay current on educational issues, I've only read one of the books on this list (Ravitch's "Death and Life"). I've had Mike Rose's "Why School" on my wishlist for awhile and would like to read several others, too. Some of these might make excellent final project/presentation opportunities for students in our School and Society course.

Textbook Publisher Pearson Takes Down 1.5 Million Teacher And Student Blogs With A Single DMCA Notice | Techdirt


How does a 2007 post of a 38-year questionnaire result in 1.5 million teachers losing their blogs? Simple: Pearson issues a DMCA notice and a hosting provider overreacts.

Okay, maybe not that simple, but there's a lesson to be learned. Teachers, if you're interested in sharing copyrighted content to students or colleagues over the web (and therefore a worldwide audience, beyond the assumed reach of academic fair use), then look out for copyright holders to issue takedown notices that may or may not result in unintended consequences. If you want to share freely and without worry, then seek out appropriately licensed material to begin with.

By the way, the author of the copyrighted work in question, Aaron T. Beck, is still around at the age of 91. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_T._Beck) I'd love to hear how he feels about Pearson shutting down the sharing of the work that made him famous!

The Pedagogical Agenda of Common Core Math Standards | Education News


Barry Garelick is a provocative fellow. I can appreciate that. I can appreciate that he's willing to take a careful look at how we teach math and arrange our standards. I can appreciate how he seeks out weaknesses that we should all be aware of. But what I have a much harder time appreciating is his willingness to make very bold claims with few citations and little evidence. For example, Garelick says, "Common Core ... redefines algebra as 'functional algebra', which does not prepare students for STEM careers." Is there some study supporting this? Perhaps a qualitative analysis of workers in STEM careers that indicates we don't need to be stressing functions in algebra? Or a pseudo-experiment comparing graduates of "functional algebra" programs versus other algebra programs, and tracking their paths to and success in STEM careers? I try to make decisions based on evidence, and I'm pretty good at recognizing when knowledge is being tangled up with beliefs. Like so much in the math wars -- often from both sides of the debate -- the latter gets stuck in the way of the former.

International Year of Statistics


I'm sure there's a lot of effort involved, but it can't be all that difficult to get a whole bunch of statisticians to declare next year the "International Year of Statistics."

Despite slim savings, more Colorado districts opt for 4-day week - The Denver Post


As someone who taught for three years in a 4-day week school, here are the major adaptations I remember: getting used to long days and short nights (especially when you coached after school), extra-curriculuar events had to be scheduled on weekends so school nights weren't interfered with, and I became super-conscious about giving up instructional time for assessment time. Whenever possible, I tried to work in small assessments during a regular instructional day. I'm not surprised that 4-day weeks don't save all that much money, or that their academic performance isn't much different than regular schools. But at some point content coverage can be important, and you just can't cover as much as you can when you have more days -- not easily in math, anyway.

State Board gets authority to pare back 8th grade math standards | EdSource Today


For me, it seems a lot of the "8th grade algebra" argument is distorted by putting too much trust in course titles and not fully understanding the scope (and hopefully, depth) of the standards at 8th and 9th grade. Add to that various egos and the political advantages for "pushing for higher standards" and I fear we ignore that our goal needs to focus on performing well on quality standards, and not just simply having high standards.

Math professor entertains crowd at UNI's family weekend


Just when I thought Allen Knutson was the center of the math juggling universe, my alma mater represented itself last weekend. I never had class with Dean Franzen, but the UNI math department has always been a source of hidden talents. Dr. John Longnecker, for example, was known to bring his guitar to the last day of classes and sing songs like "500 Miles" except with their metric equivalents.

Accountable Talk: Inspired by True Events


Just as I've seen Waiting for Superman three times because I felt it was my responsibility as an educator who cares about knowing the issues of policy and reform, I'll (probably) see Won't Back Down. Thanks to all the bad reviews, I think I'll know what to expect. Perhaps the best (yet short) review I've seen so far is this one at Accountable Talk, which compares the film to both nuclear bombings in Japan as well as blood sucking monsters.