21 July 2007

An Inconvenient Truth: Mathematics

So, I heard about this video on youtube.com, and I watched it. She has a decent premise; however, I just can't stand the argumentative stance she takes. Now, I know I'm in a very liberal teacher education program, and I'm all immersed in the constructivist approach to teaching math, but who does this lady think she is???

Oh, wait, she already told us, she is a meteorologist. She forecasts the weather. AND she's a TV personality, so she has what experience with children? Oh, didn't catch that. SO, if she thinks she can do a better job teaching math to Washington State's fifth graders, she needs to QUIT HER JOB "forecasting" the weather, go back to school and do what my colleagues and I are doing and THEN try to teach.
Then, let me review this, and after I've taught math. Then maybe I'll invite her to my classroom and see if she can manage to teach children to UNDERSTAND a concept that is foreign to them, such as being a self-righteous, holier-than-thou, uppity woman who thinks she can do every teacher's job better than they can.
Okay, I'm done. I'm not so sure of this whole constructivism thing yet, but from what I've tried, it really is easier, and I'll bet kids that are "fluent" in some of these "Everyday Math" ways of doing math can multiply her 26 times 31 in their head correctly, faster than she can on paper. If I ever did watch channel 13's news, I'd boycott it; but since I don't, I just won't ever switch to it.
I seem to have gotten myself into a profession that everyone thinks they can do, even though they have no qualifications or experience doing so. I don't have a problem with people making suggestions, but when people flat out tell someone in a profession (when they have only their experience in that profession as a recipient [student, patient, etc.] ) that they don't know what they are doing, that's just plain arrogance, and I can't stand it.


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