kitchen table math, the sequel: B and D Quadrant Lessons

Thursday, July 22, 2010

B and D Quadrant Lessons

This is new to me. Our lower schools are part of the "Model Schools" something or other. A group just returned from their conference at the International Center for Leadership in Education, in Wexford, N.Y. The article in our paper refers to how the new national common core standards "establish rigorous learner expectations that emphasize application and performance,..." This supposedly aligns with our town's commitment to "quadrant B and D learning."

"Quadrant B emphasizes application - students doing real-world work - while Quadrant D concentrates on adaption, which enables students to gain knowledge while developing skills such as inquiry, investigation and experimentation."

However, life goes on. Kids take the 6th grade math placement test and few reach algebra in 8th grade.


ChemProf said...

Yikes -- this is another learning styles fad. Quadrant A students prefer a "logical order of facts grounded in the specific knowledge of a subject" and Quadrant C "base their learning upon communications with others" and prefer "an open forum." So if you spend all your time presenting information logically, you are ignoring these other learning styles, which is another justification to waste time with projects and group discussions.

Notice in this article (link below) describing the quadrants, there is no question about the reality of "multiple intelligences."

Anonymous said...

I think the 2001 article misrepresents the concept from The International Center for Leadership in Education website. Check out these two links: and

This was introduced last year (2009/2010) at a middle school (in Colorado Springs, Colorado) with some teacher training and some discussion with parents. Lots of Gold Seal Lesson booklets were ordered and available for teachers, but I don't know if they were used.

As a parent, it didn't seem to be fully executed by the 7th Grade teachers, unless somehow it was implemented as part of frequent assessments that parents never saw.

Algebra assessments, from daughter's descriptions, might have been set up with four problems from easiest (Quadrant A) to one that they hadn't completely seen before (Quadrant D). Likely this, and especially Language Arts, more aligned with the 1/U, 2/PP, 3/P and 4/A grading system of CSAP.

Curious if anyone has seen this executed as a positive improvement to his/her school. It seems to me that it is more an elaborate description of what is typically done in schools now (especially note in the links that is is a way to clearly explain to the community...).

It also seems that the words rigor and relevance are being defined in an unexpected way.

SteveH said...

"Curious if anyone has seen this executed as a positive improvement to his/her school."

It's hard to say one way or another. Our middle school started this two years ago when my son was in 7th grade. It seems like the main goal is to develop Gold Seal Lesson booklets. Since it fits right in with their current discovery and hands-on ideas of education, I would have to see the lessons to make any judgment. I never saw anything my son did where I knew it was a Gold Seal lesson.

However, this is the first I've heard of the different quadrants as if it was some sort of fundamental assumption or fact. How can anyone start a conversation about how they might have a different idea of "rigor and relevance"? I'm tired of hearing "rigor and relevance" for the last two years. Then again, my son is now off to the high school.

SteveH said...

I want to add that these things make it impossible to change what is happening in our K-8 schools. These are the assumptions. To argue against them requires you to say that these people are fundamentally wrong about education. However, they know about Core Knowledge. They just feel perfectly willing to prevent that sort of discussion from reaching the table. These are the same people who want to prevent any of our students from going off to any charter school.

What also seems to happen in our town is that current or former teachers dominate our school committee. They get elected because they are advocates for the kids, as opposed to those who just want to cut the budget. The debate focuses on money, not academics.

Catherine Johnson said...

quadrant B & D