Not surprised to see Larry Cuban has a book on the history of teaching. I really like the deep look into the rear view mirror of educational history that he gives readers of his blog.

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]]>I’ve had trouble finding stuff to read. The other book I know of (and have read a bit of) is How Teachers Taught, by Larry Cuban.

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]]>What drew you to this book? Were you expecting to get the pedagogical lineage of “traditional” math teaching?

]]>Do you also find yourself ideologically opposed to independent challenges in class, having a specialist work with the kid, or letting the kid work on something like Khan Academy on their own during class?

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]]>Secondly, my point is not that this would necessarily work with math instruction as it happens in most schools right now, but that the fact that it wouldn’t work is a sign that we’re using bad curriculum. To the extent that 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade lessons assume that 2nd, 3rd, & 4th graders actually understand what was taught in 1st grade, they’re probably making an incorrect assumption. (I’m a high school teacher, and I can tell you that it’s definitely wrong to assume that Precalc students understand the conceptual meaning of what they did in Algebra 1). Let me speak to the HS version of this, since it’s my area. To the extent that your intervention focuses primarily on procedure, students with different course histories will respond to the intervention mini-lesson very differently, and mixing groups is bad. If the lesson conceptual or intuitive, it generally transcends age groups. And I think one good barometer of lesson quality is whether the intro phase of the lesson does transcend age and ability groups by being rooted in something so intuitive and clear that everyone can see what you’re talking about and everyone has something to think about. Perhaps after that intro phase, what’s best diverges for the older (struggling) and younger (accelerating) students.

]]>One of my friends who taught for many years said her worst year ever was a combined 5th/6th grade class when she had the top 5th graders and the low 6th graders because of that problem. (She taught other combined grades in other years and did not have this issue.)

]]>Growth mindset debunked?

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