What A Parent Wants From A School

As a parent, I look for two categories of attributes when choosing a school for my child: – Ones which benefit my child directly – Ones which benefit my child indirectly, by helping others (teachers, parents) do their jobs more effectivelySchools that satisfy more of the attributes in both categories are likely to have happier…… Continue reading What A Parent Wants From A School

Cost effective adult education: might it influence secondary education?

An article in The Washington Monthly titled “The College For-profits Should Fear” describes the founding and growth of Western Governors University. It uses an on-line model with some twists: Course credits based on assessments completed. If you pass the final assessment, you get credit for the course… even if you just took the initial course…… Continue reading Cost effective adult education: might it influence secondary education?

“Teacher” is an inaccurate title

People, both as children and adults, are constantly learning new things. The more actively engaged in the learning process they are, the more likely they are to learn something well and retain that knowledge. So what exactly is the person “teaching” a course doing? Their title implies that they are somehow loading knowledge into student brains.…… Continue reading “Teacher” is an inaccurate title

Lecturing: There Are Better Ways ToTeach

Many widely used math textbooks seem written for a traditional “lecture-style” teacher. They can be challenging to teach from if you are trying to reduce time spent “talking at” the class.Some of the NSF-funded mathematics texts published over the past decade make it much easier for a teacher to avoid lecture mode, but:- from a…… Continue reading Lecturing: There Are Better Ways ToTeach

The Purpose of High School Mathematics

The 2011 Anja S. Greer Conference on Secondary School Mathematics at Phillips Exeter Academy provided many opportunities to hears others’ ideas about the purpose of our High School Mathematics Curriculum.  Some of the statements I noted were (with apologies that none are exact quotes, and my lack of attribution on some): In life, not to mention just…… Continue reading The Purpose of High School Mathematics

Race To Nowhere: Conclusions

The movie “Race to Nowhere” provides much food for thought. While the homework loads and high stress levels shown in the movie no doubt exist in many school environments, I have not perceived them to the same degree in our community. Having said that, there are certainly some weeks of the year which are more stressful…… Continue reading Race To Nowhere: Conclusions

The Cost of Education

Making high quality educational services available at an affordable price per student is a challenging task. Consider the costs (in 2011) of offering one course at a school: Teacher Salary What is the market salary for a highly skilled teacher with good experience teaching a particular subject? The answer to this question usually depends on…… Continue reading The Cost of Education

Standards Based Grading Trial

After reading a number of blog postings about Standards Based Grading (SBG), I tried a hybrid version of it during the Fall semester of 2010 in an Algebra I class and three Algebra II classes. What follows is a description of how I approached things, what worked, and what didn’t. Grading Policy Approximately 40% of…… Continue reading Standards Based Grading Trial