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RE: FW: Education - Math & Science Appropriations II

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Bill
I alluded to this in one of my prior posts. I don't find it so amusing
as it has caused a riff between my granddaughter and I. You are
absolutely correct - they are not alternative solutions and because of
this, they lack the real understanding of the math concept. In my case,
my granddaughter will sit with tears in her eyes arguing that this is
not how she was taught and therefore I can't be right. She ends up doing
what she things the teacher taught her and fails the homework assignment
or the exam.
This lack of creative flexibility - to address the problem of learning a
concept from different perspectives so as to reach each student who
interprets the problem differently is not doing out children any good. 
I face the same problem as a college teacher, but feel that at this
level, instructors try harder to seek alternative methods to solve a
problem to overcome the stumbling blocks of each student. Why can't they
do this on a middle-school level? 
My granddaughter could not understand fractions and percentages. My wife
explained it to her in the way she understands best - discounts off the
things that are bought in a store. I explained it yet another way - but
because my granddaughter is so dependent on the teacher method she is
unwilling to open her mind up and consider another alternative.

The other issue is that she will complain that she is taught it one way
in 6th grade and it conflicts with what she is taught by her 7th grade
teacher. She can't conceptualize the problem as having alternative
routes to the same solution and I blame the teacher for this. Sure, she
is pretty lazy about learning. Keeping her on track is our
responsibility, but providing her with alternate explanations from which
she can find understanding in one or the other is the teacher's
responsibility and this is where as Helen Zhou stated - ".... teachers
should have more training in science and math." 

Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
The Structuralist.Net Information Infrastructure
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc] 
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 6:53 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: FW: Education - Math & Science Appropriations II

One thing I've found kind of amusing with my Fifth Grade daughter's math
assignments, is that they are taught to solve certain problems "only one
way." Therefore, if I solve, say, a division problem "my way" in showing
my
daughter how to do it, and she takes the homework assignment back to her
teacher, her teacher is puzzled. "You did it wrong," she'll say, "but
you
got the right answer, so I'm not sure how to grade it."



William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, TX, USA
Phone (281) 492-2251
FAX (281) 492-8203
email bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc

-----Original Message-----
From: Helen Zhou [mailto:Helen_Zhou(--nospam--at)stlouisco.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 8:51 AM
To: strusup(--nospam--at)earthlink.net; seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: FW: Education - Math & Science Appropriations II

** Proprietary **

I think teachers here should have more training in science and math.



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