From the Mind of a Math-Phobic Educator

Math equation

In this article titled Great English Teachers Improve Students’ Math Scores, the author explains how researchers found students of good English language arts teachers had higher than expected math scores in subsequent years. Their motivation for this study was to try to understand what kinds of teaching produce long-term learning benefits when a concern is that many school districts were focusing on rating teachers based on short-term test gains.

Many teachers are exploring the connections between Common Core Literacy Standards and the 8 Mathematical Practice Standards. The Common Core Standards outline math practices that are applicable in any content area classroom.

For example, math practice #1 states:

“Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.”

On the Common Core website, a “retranslation” of this standard is explained:

“Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution.”

Just a thought but if you replace the word “mathematically” with another discipline, wouldn’t this standard measure any student’s ability to comprehend a problem, or question, in any subject area? Why not even go further and replace the word “mathematically” with “Argumentative”? Granted my view is very limited, but I think the more we show how interdisciplinary the subject areas are the better off our students will be.

These standards are not limited for just math, but should be looked upon more universally across all disciplines.

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Posted in Math
4 comments on “From the Mind of a Math-Phobic Educator
  1. James Dean says:

    Great THINKING Misook. I have often thought that sometimes the best Math Educators are the ones whom never felt that math was their strength in school. Often times, they are more likely to take risks and make the learning more connected for their students. Thank you for indicating the research article. I am going to “google it” to read and reflect.

  2. Carol Lloyd says:

    Oh Misook you make me smile! I have been saying for years that creating the artificial division of education into subjects or disciplines was a great disservice to students. They have so much trouble understanding the all learning in connected and life does not come in “subjects” or multiple choice format. Life is a series of problems to be solved and the more tools you have the more of those problems you can solve!

  3. Misook says:

    yes… I still have flashbacks of my math teachers asking me what help I needed, and I never had an answer… I didn’t know what I didn’t know!

  4. Misook says:

    Carol, what can be done to make the departments interact with each other instead separating themselves by content. It’s as if all teachers need to be credentialed in multiple subjects as well as being experts in their content.

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