Posted on November 12, 2019



Pretty cool webinar about “Just Equations.”  … and oh, my, apparently the example of “The Matthew Effect” was a literal experience in the author’s life.   Two girls w/ almost equal athleticism but with one ball, the one a tad ahead got 20 times as much practice kicking as the other; with 20 balls they all got practice.   Fascinating!

Hearing about it “in the trenches” — it really sounds like they are tuned into the student realities.   Tonight’s ride home might be thinking about differences between pumps and filters (the analogy for what math courses should be).  They talked much about the expensive professional development necessary for this kind of culture change.   The biases are so pervasive!

They said that “lots of” people asked about students who didn’t know multiplication (I was one of them and it makes me think there prob’ly weren’t too many people there — I was the only one who shared anything  w/ all panelists, and appreciated that I had that option (to me it’s a big ol’ flag for “open” — and by the way the reports are open 🙂 🙂 so note to self yes, I can do massive quotes).   The answer?   Hey, they couldn’t do everything, but they could create a setting where those issues could be better addressed.  They describe extensive professional development about addressing implicit biases.

When they write about working on “the facility with symbolic notation” there is an emphasis on anxiety, but I wonder whether this is a conscious tactic because of the rampant biases against people who’ve gotten to / past middle school without those basics, and because ways to deal with anxiety are effective ways to build from anywhere (lots of small successes… lots of making connections), or whether they honestly think it’s all about anxiety.

They didn’t get to my question about … guess what?   They talked about how remedial math didn’t work in college settings, but co-requisite and “just in time” support was SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!!!   So, yes, I asked if they’d read the data.  “A pump, not a filter” is a great slogan but even with improvements, the math is a huge, effective filter.

But ’nuff ’bout that.  4:00 and time to peek at … the Javascript…


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