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Troy Patterson

Free Math - 0 views

Troy Patterson

The best way to understand math is learning how to fail productively - Quartz - 1 views

  • Students who are presented with unfamiliar concepts, asked to work through them, and then taught the solution significantly outperform those who are taught through formal instruction and problem-solving. The approach is both utterly intuitive—we learn from mistakes—and completely counter-intuitive: letting kids flail around with unfamiliar math concepts seems both inefficient and potentially damaging to their confidence.
  • So far, teachers have mixed reactions. They recognize that the approach is good but they worry about efficiency and standardized tests: will kids fall on high-stakes national and international tests?
  • Kapur uses the research to make his case. Students get more output (deeper learning) for the same input (hours of instruction), which presents another problem: teachers have to get out of the way. “They [teachers] say it’s stressful to teach this way,” he says. “It’s easier to tell them [students] what you know.”
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  • In fact, Kapur theorizes in one of his studies that direct instruction might close students’ minds. Once a teacher presents a solution, students may no longer see the possibility of other solutions, or more creative approaches.
Ron King

The real reason why the US is falling behind in math - Opinion - The Boston Globe - 0 views

    If my seatmate on an airplane asks me what I do for a living, I tell the truth: I'm a mathematician. This generally triggers one of two responses. Either I'm told that I must be brilliant . . . or I hear about the person's inability to balance a checkbook. The truth is, I'm not brilliant, just persistent, and I hate balancing my checkbook. Both responses, however, point to a fundamental misunderstanding about what mathematics is supposed to do and its current - and unfortunate - trajectory in American education.
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