Which, I see, turns out to have been today.
So I've missed the Ed Week chat. Lucky for me, they've posted the transcript.
Good to be reading Tom Loveless again:
Question from Leslie Skantz-Hodgson, Director of Curriculum and Media Instruction, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School:
Just what exactly are other countries doing, that we are not, to get high performance in math?
No one knows for sure, but I'll give you my best guess. High achieving nations value mathematics, stress its importance starting even before a child enters school, have high expectations for mathematical learning in the elementary grades, and put most students through a rigorous set of high school math courses. Elementary and middle school teachers have taken mathematics courses offered by college math departments. In addition, the curriculum is focused on only essential topics; textbooks are lean and concentrate on a few key ideas.
Lots of K-12 defenders of the faith:
Question from Jeanne Cerniglia, mathematics teacher, JRL Middle School, Southeast Local District, Wayne County, Ohio:There seems to be a move to go "back to the basics" (skills). While skill mastery may be lagging, my concern is in the area of critical applications - especially in the area of data analysis as it applies to functioning as a responsible citizen nationally and globally. Where can I find research that explores how to connect mathematics and general critical thinking strategies?
I know the answer to that!
There is no research to be found, because general critical thinking strategies are a myth. General critical thinking strategies are an urban legend; general critical thinking strategies do not exist. [see e.g.: Inflexible Knowledge: The First Step to Expertise; Critical Thinking: Why Is It So Hard to Teach?; The Mind's Journey from Novice to Expert]
That is, general critical thinking strategies do not exist unless you happen to have a Ph.D. like me:
Although this is not highly relevant for K-12 teachers, it is important to note that for people with extensive training, such as Ph.D.-level scientists, critical thinking does have some skill-like characteristics. In particular, they are better able to deploy critical reasoning with a wide variety of content, even that with which they are not very familiar. But, of course, this does not mean that they will never make mistakes.
Critical Thinking: Why Is It So Hard to Teach?
by Daniel Willingham
I am praying I do possess a general critical thinking skill or two, because otherwise I am not going to be able to wrestle CHAPTER ONE to the ground.