The Reflective Educator

Education ∪ Math ∪ Technology

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Day: April 12, 2011

How to build an apathetic student body

Here are some of the ways you can ensure your student body is apathetic.

  1. Ignore student voices in important decisions in your schools.
  2. Put up work on the walls students have done for teachers instead of student messages.
  3. Ask for input from students, but make the process nearly impossible or highly exclusive.
  4. Decide that some students have a voice (perhaps because they have a good GPA) but that others don’t.
  5. Blame the students (or their parents) when they are having difficulty learning your course material.
  6. Require students to learn stuff about which they have either no, or limited, choices.

If you watch the video below from TEDxToronto, you’ll see that these very practices are at play in our political spectrum as well.

Space in the classroom

I watched this video a while ago (recommend watching it, it’s amazing) and was amazed at how you could find spaces in the home where each word was learned. Today I wondered, what would a similar analysis of our classrooms show?

Could you do an analysis to find out where ideas were first learned? Would it vary from classroom to classroom? Could you tell the difference between a classroom based on social constructivism, and another based on behaviourism? How much does the use of our space matter in learning? Would you even be able to assess the learning of a concept in some classrooms using video analysis? 

This is just a thought experiment. I don’t have any answers to the questions I’ve posed, but I am curious…

Exploring algebraic complexity

Here is an idea I am exploring.

I’d like some feedback on this idea. If anyone can point me at research already done in this area, that would be appreciated. My objective is to use this to justify the use of technology in mathematics as a way of reducing algorithmic complexity so that deeper concepts can be more readily understood.