The Illusion of Multitasking and its Impact on Learning — The Effortful Educator

Currently, I am sitting in the waiting room while my daughter is in her ballet class. I am inundated with distractions; the conversations around me, small children playing, and a large television broadcasting my adorable daughter’s class for all to see while waiting. My attention is constantly pulled from one mental task to the next.…

via The Illusion of Multitasking and its Impact on Learning — The Effortful Educator

A long-term rise and recent decline in intelligence test performance: The Flynn Effect in reverse

Thomas Teasdale and David Owen: In the 1980s reviewed evidence indicated that, through the preceding decades of the last century, population performance on intelligence tests had been rising substantially, typically about 3–5 IQ points per decade, in developed countries. The phenomenon, now termed the ‘Flynn Effect’, has been variously attributed to biological and/or to social…

via A long-term rise and recent decline in intelligence test performance: The Flynn Effect in reverse — Schoolinfosystem.org

Improved education financial transparency now at risk thanks to new state board’s decision

The questionably reconstituted Kentucky Board of Education isn’t wasting much time putting to waste one of the more important efforts of the board that was improperly replaced. Multiple reporters Tweeted out from the new board’s meeting today that the Finance Committee initiated by the ousted board is being disbanded. That’s a huge mistake. There are…

via Improved education financial transparency now at risk thanks to new state board’s decision — The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions

Book Review: Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy by Richard Watermeyer — Impact of Social Sciences

In Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy, Richard Watermeyer critically explores the increasing quantification of academic life and the rise of the marketised competitive university. This book particularly succeeds in not only exploring the futility and counterproductiveness of quantified academic performance metrics, but also revealing how complicity among some academics allows…

via Book Review: Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy by Richard Watermeyer — Impact of Social Sciences

Education Department Proposes Rule Implementing Trump Campus Free Speech Order — ACADEME BLOG

BY HANK REICHMAN On March 21, 2019, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that he claimed would require colleges and universities to uphold free speech or risk forfeiting federal support. When Trump first announced his intent to issue the order at the Conservative Political Action Conference the AAUP and eleven other groups issued a…

via Education Department Proposes Rule Implementing Trump Campus Free Speech Order — ACADEME BLOG

Articles I Never Finished Reading, Dept.

traditional math

From an article about “how math might have changed since you were in school.”

“With Common Core, students are learning more complicated and in-depth methods of doing math that focus, in part, on a simple idea: Teach students to think critically and to do so at an earlier age compared with previous standards so they can pursue career training or college, Mooney said.”

And how’s that been working out for the nation?

“Mooney said an obstacle in implementing the standards comes from figuring out how to overcome conventional wisdom about how people learn and talk and think about math.”

Right. Because in past eras which progressives deem to have “failed thousands of students” math textbooks taught standard algorithms first, and gave many practice problems (including word problems). After mastery of the standard methods, students were then shown alternative strategies–but they had as an anchor the standard algorithms from which they…

View original post 115 more words

Much Ado About Distribution, Dept.

traditional math

A common complaint–as in “see, math is being taught wrong”– is that students fail to see that equations like 3(x-5)=60 can be solved by dividing both sides by 3 first. Progressives seem to make a big deal about this to the tune of “If students are doing this, they lack ‘deeper understanding’ about equations.

Textbooks that claim alignment to the Common Core now make it a practice to show this.  The problem is that if you have 7(x-5)=60, the process isn’t so neat.

In my experience students ignore the lesson and go ahead and distribute.  I point out that they can do it the short-cut way (since all the problems in this particular lesson are structured so that the short cut can be used), but they still do the “long-way” distribution method. At first I was worried when students were not “getting” it, until I realized I was succumbing to the…

View original post 156 more words

5,000 viewers, Dept.

traditional math

The YouTube video of a talk I gave on math education in the US (encompassing comments on Common Core) has reached 5,000 viewers.

For those who want the bottom line, the last bullet of my conclusions is “Mistakes should not be clung to because of the time spent making them.”

For those with greater patience who only wish to hear my comments on Common Core, go to minute 19:25.

And for those with time on their hands, the whole talk is about 30 minutes long.  I originally gave it at a researchED conference held at Oxford in 2016.  I gave the talk locally in 2018 at the San Luis Obispo IHOP, where it was videoed.  The local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution kindly sponsored the talk.

Some people told me I should not associate with such groups.  Well, I suppose if the KKK had asked me to…

View original post 79 more words

Some thoughts on Devlin and Boaler

traditional math

For those who have read and heard Keith Devlin, he is pretty close with Jo Boaler who you may also have heard about. Keith Devlin, you will recall, writes a column called Devlin’s Angle in MAA and also is known as “that math guy” at NPR.

He made a big name for himself some years ago when he claimed that multiplication  “Ain’t no repeated addition”.

Well, yes, in formal, higher level mathematics, there is a general definition of multiplication that must meet several conditions. Technically, it is a function which maps two objects (numbers, functions, even shapes) from a set, into one object, (e.g., f(2,4) = 8 ) and the function is commutative, associative, distributive, and has an identify function called “1” in which a*1 = a.

What he seems to miss is that this general function does in fact include repeated addition as a means of informing the…

View original post 293 more words