In this time of distance teaching and learning, the tropes about traditional teaching:bad and progressive teaching: good are flourishing. This article (in the preciously named “The Conversation” no less) is no exception.
Traditional modes of instruction have emphasized that math is best learned through studying and memorizing alone, with the teacher demonstrating procedures and then checking students’ answers.
This is news to me. I teach in the traditional manner as do many people I work with, and I don’t recall that the emphasis is studying and memorizing alone. Yes there is memorization and yes there is homework. There is also discussion in the classroom and analysis of mistakes which this article assumes does not happen with traditional teachers. The quoted passage even links to an article by Deb Ball, former dean of the ed school at U of Michigan who speaks to the ed-school party line.
Gone are the days of students sitting quietly while the math teacher does all the talking at the chalkboard. Discussion is important in the mathematics classroom.
This one even links to an article published by NCTM called “Sociomathematical Norms, Argumentation and Autonomy in Mathematics” I don’t recall teachers doing all the talking; they did ask questions–quite a bit, as do I. But “teacher talk” as it’s also called is viewed as bad; facilitation is viewed as good. Interesting that the so-called “flipped classrooms” rely on videos which entail someone doing a lot of the hated “teacher talk”. But it’s OK in a video. As long as it doesn’t happen in class, where facilitation and student-centered inquiry-based learning is key.
Traditional math teaching, where the teacher assumes an authoritative role, is a major cause of math anxiety.
Right. Best that teachers take a subservient facilitative role. (See “teacher talk” and other no-no’s.)
This type of thinking is pervasive in ed schools and persists in the edu-establishment. And for those who have fought to instill other ideas, they are met with the jiu-jitsu-like response of “We’re all saying the same things!”
News flash: We’re not.