Sunday, December 22, 2013

Favorite comments of '13, cont: Cynthia812 and Jen

On "Number sense" with minimal number work

Cynthia812 said...

When I tutored a 3rd grader who used reform math, my two biggest issues were 1)Lack of problems, no way to follow with a second problem to see if he really got it, and 2)the massive amount of writing required to "explain your reasoning" in a meaningful, precise, and accurate way. Reform Math fosters a lack of precision that is going to haunt these kids forever.

Jen said...
I keep thinking of the lack of practice in terms of self-esteem. Remember when everyone thought self-esteem developed from a child being extravagantly praised for every little thing and being shielded from any criticism. Then everyone (well, everyone doing research) realized that self-esteem actually comes from growth and accomplishment. That is, that practicing something enough to get better at it and noting that growth leads to esteem. The option for growth and the sense of efficacy (or math self-esteem) is lost without mastery. There is no sense of having learned something that you couldn't do before is lost in the "spiral" and in the "exposure" to many methods without a real working knowledge with any of them. Just as those overpraised children ended up doubting their abilities (and with higher levels of anxiety and depressive qualities, if I recall correctly) so do kids without mastery of basic skills end up guessing and feeling doubtful when doing what should be simple problems.

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