Thoughts from a reflective educator.
This is a list my son created of things he wanted to make sure he got done for the day.
Does this make my son a writer? Is it more important that he is attempting to use text to get out his thoughts? Or is it more important that I help him correct the mistakes that he has made to make him a 'better' writer?
I tried a little experiment today with Google. I started by typing "learning is " into Google and waiting to see what the auto-suggest feature would come up with.
Next, I typed "Teaching is " into the auto-suggest.
Finally, I typed "Schools are " into Google.com.
"Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women." Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism
If we want to discuss whether or not our k to 12 education system is successful, we must first examine its possible purposes.
Suppose the purpose of our education system is to produce kids who are ready for college. Given that only 61.9% of students (in Canada) even attend college, and that not all of those people complete college, then our system is failing at least 40% of its youth by this measure of its success.
I saw some little kids and their parents at a lemonade stand on Sunday, and I thought to myself, "how cute!" I found out that the proceeds from the lemonade stand were going to be used to help fund sports equipment and other necessary supplies at a local elementary school, and I thought to myself, "how sad."
I recently contacted Derek Stolp, author of Mathematics Miseducation: The Case Against a Tired Tradition and shared with him Paul Lockhart's essay entitled "A Mathematician's Lament." With his permission, I'm sharing his thoughts below.