Thursday, January 17, 2013

Barriers to Better K-12 Math Education: Poverty and the Inadequate Undergraduate Education of Prospective K-12 Teachers

aera-l | ". . . . .why do we as mathematics educators - I'm talking about the research community and us higher education types - focus so much our attention on the secondary years? If I was building a fourteen story high rise and skimped on the first six floors, things would be problematic indeed. Is it because we think secondary teachers can fix students who struggle through those six years? Is it because we don't really care and it is survival of the 'fittest'? Is it because we have, in a sense, dumbed down the elementary school mathematics education curriculum to the extent that elementary school teachers, in their collegiate years, come away unsure and ill prepared and we, in effectively a vicious cycle, write them off?"

Ed Wall's complaint about the "dumbed down the elementary school mathematics education curriculum" is on target, but not IMHO because "the research community and us higher education types - focus so much our attention on the secondary years." Instead it's primarily because of poverty in the U.S. - see e.g. "The Overriding Influence of Poverty on Children's Educational Achievement" [Hake (2011a)]; and secondarily because U.S. Mathematics Education Researchers (MER's) have not devoted enough attention to the postsecondary years

2 comments:

uglyblackjohn said...

maybe grad school should be free for teachers...

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