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I don't think they taught us this math in school.

As a Math-Science High School teacher for 30 years, I've heard many times from parents:


What is this new math?

What the heck is this science your doing?

I don't get any of this.

I don't think we learned this in school.

I'm not a math/science person.

I cant help Joe with this math.


The reality was that my students and parents were not able to work on some topics at home. I needed to change the way I taught my classes. I needed to rework the old school methods of teaching so my students wouldn't be lost at home working in frustration and not expect my parents to help teach it to them. I wanted my kids to do the work where I was because I'm the resource. I have that knowledge base to share and I can't expect the parents to have that knowledge. I would never expect a colleague to be able to teach my math/ science if it wasn't their field of study so why would i set up my students for failure.


So change was needed. I needed to recreate it so others can help students with the process of learning and not the content area. I started teaching away from the right or wrong answer and more towards what was your process to get to the answer. marks were for the process and a small part of the mark for the answer. My students started to see the process was the important aspect to learning.



What I can expect from the home and from other teachers who are not stem specialist is that they can help children find a path to solve the solution and understand the steps that they choose to do and not just the steps the textbook or internet says to do. I want the parents to be problem-solving resources so when their child gets frustrated, they can come up with problem solving methods. I would hope parents would say will is what I would do or I have no clue how to do it but let's try this or what if we look that up. They are helping to facilitate the learning process and not just trying to teach the answers.


This process lead me to using project based learning. I would facilitate the learning of content in small portions and the students would be working on projects that were relevant to the main unit topic. So now parents would be at home helping students investigate, design, build or create things and not have to feel they couldn't help their kids. You see my ultimate motive was always to keep home life as family time and not parents policing school work time.


So that brings us to this crazy world today. Students and teachers are not in schools. Learning has been forced home with parents feeling a burden of policing. Students are hating it or refusing to do it. This is not working for many. We need to rethink this. What can we do that helps us maintain our home lives?


Well in my opinion I would see what my child wants to learn about and do it. Lets worry about teaching the process of learning. Lets get interest (passion) projects going. Or set up problem sets in math that allow students to show the learning they investigated. Or my preferred would be performance tasks. Lets rethink it and make the learning process the emphasis.





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