Shut the hell up, Dept.

An “expert” on Common Core is interviewed in this Ed Source piece. Excuse the quotes around the word expert, but it reminds me of a special I saw a while ago on PBS TV, focusing on the TV series called “The Prisoner” which starred Patrick McGoohan and was a big deal in the late 60’s.

They had an “expert” on The Prisoner series; some guy in his twenties who looked like he never worked a day in his life, whose expertise ranged from DC and Marvel comic book lore, to TV shows from the 50’s and 60’s. He gave a rather detailed analysis of the last episode of The Prisoner as if he were talking about one of Shakespeare’s later works.

That’s how this expert on Common Core struck me, particularly when I came to this gem of a statement, which caused me to stop reading:

“I like to tell people that I’m ‘classically trained’ in mathematics. I was brought up the traditional way, which is to never ask, ‘Why?’ – just be able to do the problem. You didn’t have to know the hows and the whys.”

Maybe you have the stomach for the rest of the interview. Let me know what you think.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Shut the hell up, Dept.

    • Let me help you out here, then, Dr. Craigen. Our friend Tara won’t mind if I tell you her reaction which I think helps articulate thoughts on the matter:

      ” “I like to tell people that I’m ‘classically trained’ in mathematics. I was brought up the traditional way, which is to never ask, ‘Why?’ – just be able to do the problem. You didn’t have to know the hows and the whys.” Oh. Okay. So this “expert” learned the traditional way, benefited from it, went on to make a living based on how he was taught, and then says it’s no good. I can’t even… ”

      [Sound of vomiting]

      Like

  1. It’s mostly just emotionally laden babble. The practical aspects of doing something are constantly overlooked because it sounds so cool.

    Teachers can help students make connections between math and the real world through interdisciplinary lessons that combine math and science and English, with one overarching question driving why we’re learning what we’re learning.

    Again this confusion of motivation and interest with practical learning for novices. Reading about cross-curriculum stuff is fascinating — if you have the relevant background information to make sense of it. Children do not yet have the basic understanding to learn about Maths in the context of science. They can barely learn the Maths, and adding a layer of complexity isn’t going to help.

    I see the Common Core as a way to provide teachers with strategies so that students can see the beauty of math – the how it works and the why it works and the patterns.

    It’s sounds so persuasive, but in reality the only way you can learn the beauty of Maths is to study it to sufficient depth to understand the links. I’m not sure that most people have the necessary mental apparatus even then.

    It’s difficult to get people to accept this. But I really believe with every fiber of my being that given enough time and given enough support, every student can succeed.

    More of his wishful thinking — a belief that we are all more or less equal in ability is seen as a badge that you are a just person, whereas it should be seen as a sign that you are prepared to believe in fairy tales.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s