Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Two minus what equals one

I don't know much about pedagogy. Don't know much about the science books. But I do know one and one is two.

Well, yes and no.

I was visiting a local school today as a school Governor. And it was a lovely day. The kids were, for the most part, well behaved. I dipped in and out of a number of lessons. I was invited to color. I was complemented on my coloring ability. I told them I'd had a lot of practice over the years.

But they were teaching kids using some kind of new fangled method of math teaching. It looked like algebra. But it wasn't. For addition it was like algebra, but for subtraction I didn't have a freakin' clue what they were doing. And I feel pretty confident about my math ability.

I witnessed one of the kids getting the right answer but using the subtraction method incorrectly. I could see what she was doing. And she was getting the right answer. The teacher told her she didn't care about the answer, only that she was doing it the right way. She wasn't doing the method.

The child looked sad and perplexed.

And I felt sad and perplexed.

During a number of our evening meetings the teachers have talked about teaching the parents how to help the kids with their maths homework, because of the new way. Now I understand why that's necessary. Necessary, I guess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're doing community service. You almost always get more out of it than you give. Now you know you have only 4 years (maybe less because he's sooo smart and breast-fed) or so before Cletus starts doing maths. Get to work. VolMom