An education of convenience

I got an email from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics this morning with this headline: Common Core Learning & More in a Convenient Location.

The Council just meant that in addition to the content of its upcoming conference, an attendee could look forward to seeing the sights in historic Philadelphia.

What the headline conjured up for me was a typical day in school.  The 3Rs and more in one convenient location!

Flippancy aside, I think it’s worth asking how much of what we choose and mandate in the way of learning and education is rooted in what we really know to be the best we can do – for actual, specific children – and how much of it is what’s most convenient for us.

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2 Responses

  1. Having just read A Mathematician’s Lament, it becomes increasingly challenging to envision the CC Standards (at least in math) facilitating a true “improvement” in how young people (and those who hope to teach them) experience this realm of human understanding.

    • I agree, Linda. There are so many tricky and longstanding challenges wound up in the way we deal with math and so much of it feeds on itself. Many many people learned to fear or loathe it as children, and that means many many people who are in positions of power when it comes to how it’s offered to kids wish it would just go away. Elementary school teachers in particular have to pretend they’re OK with math when they’re not, which is often, and that has a big impact. (This piece from Ed Week addresses it.) A book like Mathematician’s Lament, included in some of these discussions and shared with those of us who got spooked by math at one point or another, could sure make a difference.

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