kitchen table math, the sequel: Younger

Thursday, October 31, 2013


As the nation's schools undergo a wave of teacher retirements, some 25% of teachers have only five or fewer years in the classroom, "a precipitous decline" in experience since the late 1980s, when the typical teacher had 15 years' experience, according to a study by the National Commission on Teaching & America's Future, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit advocating teacher quality.

That may explain why some 43% of parents report being "extremely worried" about their kids' elementary-school teacher assignments, according to a poll last month of 306 parents by CafeMom, a social-networking and community website.

Dread of August: The Kids' Teacher Assignments | By SUE SHELLENBARGER | Aug. 6, 2013
This generation of teachers has been trained in pure constructivism.

According to Robert Slavin, direct instruction hard been all but dropped from teacher training by 1991.


VickyS said...

A rapidly changing world demands the we have more knowledge, not less. The thing that frustrates me so much about indirect or constructivist education is how terribly inefficient it is--kids, all kids, just learn less, and the learn it slower.

My college student son is being educated via direct instruction in all his classes--some live, a few online. Even the online lectures are done well. They are engaging, fascinating! The live lectures are terrific--direct instruction is not, as its detractors allege, passive. A good lecturer, especially one who uses a Socratic dialog, is highly engaging and trasmits so much knowledge!

Has there ever been a controlled study that shows constructist techniques beat out direct instruction in speed, quanitity, or depth of learning?

It is just a crime that our teacher turnover in K-12 has left us with a young, impressionable and brainwashed teaching corps.

Maybe the best we can do is push for alternative teacher licensing programs to bring us baby boomers into the profession and stir things up a bit!

concerned said...

I haven't kept up as much as I need to on the research, but a good place to start is with this: Instructional Implications of David C. Geary’s
Evolutionary Educational Psychology
John Sweller
School of Education
University of New South Wales, Australia

I believe David C. Geary is still here in Missouri at Mizzou.

Lisa Jones
twitter @proudmomom
I'd love to "follow" those of you on twitter that participate on KTM!

VickyS said...

Lisa, I've never come across those papers before and they look fascinating. Do you know any links to obtain them online?

Anonymous said...

Vicky, Sorry for the delay in responding. I've only found it here for purchase:

You might try contacting the authors directly for a copy if that's too expensive. They have been supportive of debunking ed myths here in the US and elsewhere.

Lisa Jones

concerned said...

I received permission from Jim Milgram to post a statement he made on Common Core recently.

I thought KTMers might be interested since there are whacky so-called "common core aligned" lessons cropping up around the country.

We know this silly stuff is not new, it's just been relabeled in an effort to appear legitimate under the "new" standards. (imho)

Anyway, feel free to start a thread here on the topic if you're interested.

Lisa Jones

Glen said...

Lisa, thanks for posting that.

concerned said...

Absolutely Glen!

I need to mention that his comment first appeared on the American Math Forum
see here:

Just in case you are interested in participating in AMF.

I then contacted him directly to request permission to post.