The truth and the excuse, Dept.

The national lock-down has resulted in many teachers resorting to videos, and Zoom meetings. In either case, the principle means of teaching appears to be explicit and whole class instruction.

Students saddled with math curricula that do not have a textbook and rely on group work/collaboration, may actually be enjoying a benefit to the more “traditional” form of instruction.  This experience gives us a rare opportunity to see the results of a nationwide forcing of direct/explicit instruction.

Any benefits observed, however, will likely be discounted when we get back to the more-or-less normal classroom; i.e., with students and teacher present in one place. I’m willing to bet good money that the edu-party-line will then be: “Yes, there was some increase in performance as measured by traditional testing methods, but there was a decrease in ‘deeper understanding’. ”

Then there will be those who point to any successes/improvements during this period as evidence that flipped classrooms are the way to go.

Any takers?


3 thoughts on “The truth and the excuse, Dept.

  1. Is there any evidence that home education is causing more parents to be involved and enforcing basic mastery skills? Maybe it’s waking up many parents to the problem.

    This seems to be the fuzzy educator goal all along – for parents/tutors/internet to do the dirty work that let’s them do the fun, creative stuff. It’s not like they don’t value skills. It’s just that they don’t want to do it themselves. Also, more is more and they can take credit for all of the home help, but claim that it was their work that added the real understanding.


  2. Great observation, Steve H. I hope parents are getting math woke. I think they just see an A or a B on a report card and think all is well. Maybe this is going to get a lot of people to notice what we all have been talking about for years – that most of our middle- and high-school students are basically arithmetically illiterate.

    My observation was that my students are finally watching my videos!


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