5 Comments
Mar 13Liked by Barry Garelick

As usual, GREAT insight. This sums it up:

" By the time students reach fourth grade, the standard algorithm appears as just one more way to add and subtract – on more side dish in a never-ending meal in which the main dish remains hidden. It has generally resulted in more confusion over what strategy to use, rather than conferring any “deeper understanding”. "

Your FB thread was quite amusing also...some really good insight in that FB group, but also some really bad imo....

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I don’t doubt at all what you’ve shared here; I’ve tended to find what you share aligns with my experiences and instincts.

What I take away from your discussion here, though, is that determining the appropriate approach challenges teachers. Influential papers have been criticized, but how widely known is that criticism? Common Core standards suggest one thing but their writers say another. Why has this nuance by swallowed up? Textbooks encourage strategies dictated by debunked experiments…or do they?

A teacher researching this subject will, like so many other topics, find themselves face-to-face with conflicting information and questionable sources at every turn. I trust you, but is a newsletter on Substack a reliable source? Is an adamant voice in a Facebook group a reliable source? Or, better put, are these reliable enough sources to upend instructional infrastructure and go against one’s colleagues?

Who and what an elementary school teacher should believe (and where the hours should come from to vet contradictory claims) is a mystery to me.

Maybe this is neither here nor there, but it speaks to the tricky (often infuriating) landscape of teaching.

Thanks for continuing to grapple against the grain. I enjoy the thinking your posts encourage.

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author

Thank you for your comment; I appreciate what you're saying. It is confusing for many teachers.

What Holly Korbey's article (referenced in the post) describes and what I allude to in the post is that in fact there is a growing number of teachers who are aware of the cognitive science-based research on teaching and learning. The growth in followers of such research has been slow, but has been greatly aided by such organizations as researchED, by researchers such as Dylan Wiliam, Barbara Oakley, Stanislas DeHaene, Paul Kirschner, Carl Hendrick, John Mighton, Greg Ashman and by educators such as Anna Stokke, Robert Craigen, Eric Kalenze, and many others.

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I'm not surprised.

The majority of teachers have been corralled into constructivism approaches being the superior pedagogy. It is not.

I had the same pressure applied to me by two maths leaders. l ignored them as well as arguing against their delusional practices in pd sessions. It was a gradual process countering constructivism and it worked

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author

Glad to hear that! I'm hoping there are more like you around. Thanks for the comment.

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