On Why Johnny can’t do math
Also--kids tend to hate know-it-all smart kids, and being a quasi-teacher will make it very difficult for this child to be treated as a peer by his classmates. What a social death warrant this plan is! Do these people know nothing about tween social dynamicsAnonymous said...
Blech. What it really teaches?
1) The teachers don't care. They might care, but they don't act on it, which in a child's honest estimation is the same thing.
2) The teachers set you up for social bullying, then walk away.
3) Any complaint will label you a "whiner" in the teacher's eyes, and a "tattletale" in the other group members' eyes. I suppose that's "social skills," but cynicism and a distrust of others and the entire system is too high a price to pay, IMHO.
My eldest child had to deal with groups which spent much of the class period debating whether they should put their names on the top of the paper. In middle school.
One of my kids has a wonderful time in group discussion of math. It's called Math Club, or Math Team. His advanced math class also had a wonderful time making up challenging problems for each other. Here's the rub: the ability range and range of interest in math were much narrower than permitted in a heterogeneous, mainstreamed, classroom.
“How much work could it possibly be for the school to just let him sit in the back of the room and do a certain number of pages every day?”
One of the many ironies of Johnny's situation is that his math teacher probably isn't qualified to lead a social skills group.
The vogue of constructivist math and group work has made it much worse than it used to be for smart kids under the desk squadron - memorization regime of old. And it was bad enough then. The gap between the kids who (against all odds) actually learn math and the rest of them is greater, and the opportunities for bullying and ridicule are enhanced by having the bullies lead the class. It's enough to make one wistful for the dunce cap.