kitchen table math, the sequel: a really big class size

Friday, May 6, 2011

a really big class size

from the Ed Week article on Reasoning Mind:
The Gates Foundation, based in Seattle, recently awarded a $742,996 grant for a pilot program of Reasoning Mind, which will test whether one Reasoning Mind-trained teacher can affect the math scores and proficiency of 250 students using the program in different grades at several schools.There will be nine teachers trained, responsible in total for 2,250 students.


Catherine Johnson said...

Funny thing: this article appears in a technology supplement to Ed Week with the overall title: "K-12 Seeks Custom Fit: Schools Test Individualized Digital Learning."

Catherine Johnson said...

If one teacher can raise math cores of 250 students, then great!

I'm just sitting here semi-chuckling over how horrified most parents of K-5 kids would be if they knew this is the kind of thing the education world has in mind when it touts the wonders of technology and online learning.

George said...

First of all, for full disclosure, I work for Reasoning Mind.

I'd like to clarify that 250 isn't a class size -- it's the total number of students that the teacher can support across several classes. Also, implementations of RM with a large (>30 students) class size often involve a certified teacher plus a teacher aide, so that the student-to-teacher ratio might be higher than average, but the student-to-human ratio is lower.

RM doesn't propose that the program be used to increase class sizes. Rather, it can be used to mitigate the damage caused by teacher shortages. In fact, our policy is to encourage smaller class sizes whenever possible. Having a small class size actually matters *more* in an RM classroom than in a traditional one, since in a traditional direct instruction classroom, most teachers (unfortunately) aren't able to spend that much time with individual students anyway.

So we're with you on this, Catherine. :)