Mar 25, 2013

Dialog Internasional 3 Pendidikan Matematika


LinkedIn Groups
Group: Math, Math Education, Math Culture
Discussion: Why do you think people's basic math skills are weak?

Art DiVito:
@Marsigit. Thanks, Marsigit!
Of course, from a pedagogical perspective, one must relate the level at
which one teaches to ones philosophy of teaching. I was fortunate to teach
college-level courses. I feel it is important to explain why concepts are
"important" (i.e., significant) as well as the skills and techniques
associated with the concepts. Skills and techniques are more dominate at
the lower levels of education; the understanding of significance becomes
more extensive at higher levels. In general, movement should be from the
specific to the general; from the concrete to the abstract. I had likely
mentioned earlier that I opened this site as an educational reform, for
K-8, to help motivate students in mathematics: www.mathlabsforschools.com.
I would love to hear your comments if you check it out.

Frances Winters:
Hi Bon, people tell stories to the unborn kids but if they projected the
words onto their bellies with a laser in a dark room the kids might
actually learn to read.

Marsigit Dr MA:
@Frances: Yeah yeah yeah I understand. You proved how difficult to
illustrate the role of adults in facilitating younger need in learning
math. You may imagine that my stories to my kids was a kind projecting the
words onto my kids' bellies with a laser in a dark room the kids might
actually learn to read; however, the situation was really different. By
using indirect approach, there were so much aspect of my kid's initiation
and learning emerged. In sum, adult's trust to the younger is very
important. The teacher should trust that his/her students will perform
their competencies if they get a chance and facilitation.

Frances Winters:
I was serious. I can imagine communicating with a baby with lazer morse
code. If you can teach the blind braille then why not teach morse code in
utero? Its not so dark in there really. Music can be heard. You know you
can buy a special attachment belly belt for your headphones so baby can
use them when you are busy. Right now google are working on special
interuterine speakers. Mums will have two sets of phones, one for them and
a second set for baby so they can listen in on all the music mum likes and
all the family gossip and don't miss out on anything. Babies have been
missing out since things with headphones have arrived.

Marsigit Dr MA:
@Frances: I understand and agree with your illustration. Your illustration
is important and unique. I think the key words are VARIETY and RELATIVE.
As Jaworsky said there is no the best way to educate. So various
activities and resources with their flexible and dynamic scheme, suited to
the kids condition and situation surrounding him is the solution. The
scheme should, at any stage, empower him with warmly and closely
interaction with his parent. I found the small kid (8 moth) has a very
high curiosity on everything; and quickly change his focus on different
objects dynamically. So a certain role of parent can not be substitute
with a toolkit or other facilities. They just support them. What I have
just elaborated may be called as HOLOGRAPHIC approach. I am not sure
whether there is anybody else who has developed this theory. At least,
this will be my future project.

Marsigit Dr MA:
@Art DiVito: Great! I have searched your works and I think you and your
team have done the best in MatLab and SMILE programs. In my point of view,
your works have already completely aspects of learning math include:
psychology, methodology, and philosophy. I totally agree with the aspect
inside your works. I think you and your team are in the highest position
of the stage of teachers' professional development, i.e. "teacher pay
teacher". However, it is just a very-very small portion of the phenomena
of math education. By the way, in this forum, you have successfully
performed your accountability. Frankly speaking, I need to learn a lot
from you. You just then need to extend and socialize your product, even
not only in the usa, but also internationally, in such away that the more
teachers are able to use your product. This last point is about
sustainability. So you need to sustain your vision and mission.

Some problems I found with your programs may come from the feasibility of
MathLab, the easy of getting and using the program. It also need to
supervise the teachers so that they persistently are to be creative in
using your products and not trapped in a mechanically or routine
procedures. Further, I can not find the phenomenological ground in your
SMILE program. In my perception, phenomenological ground is a higher level
in learning math; however, if it is used to develop a certain program to
facilitate learning, it will be only in the perception of developer.
Inside phenomenology there are two aspects of learning: idealization and
abstraction. They are very useful and important aspects of learning math
in the case of teachers' perception. Sadly, most teachers are still have
limited understanding about this aspects. And for the students, they just
follow the scheme made by the programers or by the teachers. They do not
need to think much on the theory of phenomenology. It is your scheme I
think. Thank

Marsigit Dr MA:
@Art DiVito: I have some questions to Art. First, how your programs are to
facilitate the students to connect among math concepts? Further, how they
are to promote the students to construct their own math concept? How about
students initiations in learning math? What kinds of class managements do
you expect if the teacher use your packet programs? The extent of students
shares their ideas with others?

One biggest problem in teaching math is that the students learn too formal
math, while the students are still in the stage of concrete math. What do
you expect to solve this problem?

Art DiVito:
Part 1. Thanks, Marsigit, for your kind words above. ... As you know, the
matter of excellent pedagogy is very complex, so it is difficult to touch
upon much of it in a forum such as this. Trying to remain brief, I would
suggest that, geometry and trigonometry aside, the calculus and beyond is
essentially based on algebra, and algebra is essentially based on
arithmetic. Sadly, it is difficult to imagine anything more "drudgery" --
from the student perspective -- than algebra and arithmetic. Nonetheless,
arithmetic and algebra are such important tools that they cannot (should
not) be reduced from their status in the K-12 curriculum. ... With such
contemporary problems as the breakdown of the nuclear family, accelerated
peer pressure at earlier ages, less respect for authority in general and
the teaching profession in particular, etc., it is now more difficult than
ever (it was never easy) to convince students that arithmetic and algebra
ought to be learned -- which can be done only with a good deal of "time on
task" -- because of their "down the road" value.

Art DiVito:
Part 2. So, it is more meaningful now than ever to "motivate" the students
by convincing them that mathematics is important! Here is one way to do
this: (Q) Raise a (fairly) real-world question that can be resolved using
elementary mathematics; but for which the correct resolution can be
determined by empirical means (i.e., outside of math/theory; i.e., by
actual measurement or something that can be observed). Then (R) resolve
the question using the appropriate mathematics. Finally, (V) verify the
answer obtained using mathematics with the empirical method. That way, the
students will see that the mathematics really worked! (I call such an
experiment, for K-8, a "MathLab.")

Simple example: Attach a helium balloon to a string, and (Q) ask how high
the balloon is above the ground. (R) Resolve this using the location of
its shadow and then the arithmetic or algebra of either similar triangles
or trigonometry. Finally, (V) compare the answer to the actual length of
string!

... So, I opened a Discussion Forum here to solicit some such ideas from
the field (I myself already had the 14 or so of my website
www.MathLabsForSchools.com). Remarkably, I did not draw a single other
such "MathLab." Not one!

That's when it struck me that such Q/R/V "MathLabs" are not at all
trivial, and that's when I launched the website, still hoping to solicit a
few more. I feel we need at least about 10 more for it to be an effective
K-8 school reform.

I will stop here because I dislike long dissertations as much as anyone,
and others might have interesting points as well.

Mary Cullen:
The attitude of non maths professionals and teachers doesn't help. As
maths liaison in a learning support meeting, when I stressed the need for
extra supports and resources to improve maths performance, I was cut short
and informed by the head of the learning support department that she had
never been able to do maths and it hadn't done her any harm. This message
gets communicated to those struggling to achieve in the subject, leading
them to the belief that other areas of study are more important,
downgrading the need to put the extra effort and time into the PRACTICE of
maths. I have lost count of the number of situations that I have found
myself in , where someone in the group discovers my profession and
approaches me with their tales of inability in maths, and ability to
succeed in life without it. I have given up pointing out that even
planning what time to set the alarm clock for the morning requires some
maths skills, as changing the mindset of such people is almost impossible.
These days I save such information for the maths students in my care and
endeavour to instill a love of maths in the students in my care and try to
overcome the prejudices that they are hearing in other p arts of their
lives against maths. Once that is in process then the motto of practice
practice practice takes over. Teachers in maths regularly get bad press
for the standards of ability in the subject when we are often battling
societal attitude as well as student ability every time we step in the
classroom. Cyclically governments jump on the bandwagon with their worries
about maths standards, then they throw ridiculous sums of money in
enforcing badly thought out syllabus changes, never follow through on
providing resources, rig results to show what a wonderful job they have
done, then slap each other on the backs to celebrate their achievement,
then ignore the realities of the situation again til the next damning
report on maths standards is produced. There are wonderful maths teachers
out there, who love teir subject passionately and are working wonders in
classrooms, often under very difficult circumstances, only to be
undermined and deemed failing due to circumstances that are so far outside
of their control.

Marsigit Dr MA:
@Art DiVito: Thank Art for the responses. Many educ practitioners I think
need to learn how a certain group are to develop teaching materials and
resources. Though we must also look at this from students' perspective. I
agree that because of the complexity of aspects of teaching or related
programs, to some extent, we can not discus them in the forum like this. I
agree that we ultimately finish our discussion, however, arising the
problems and delivering the questions are something that naturally
happened. If we fail to response them we will have the problems with
ACCOUNTABILITY. Again, thank Art.

Abdelraheem zabadi:
I agree for all above opinions

Abdelraheem zabadi:
In addition to that students in general dont want to explore or think ,
they want everything is ready , more over the rule of technologies and
using calculators even in simple calculations ledds to weakened the basic
skills among the students.

Marsigit Dr MA:
@Mary Cullen : I understand and agree with most of your descriptions.
However, I still need make a response. I think your illustration is
excellent. You illustrated how math teachers have complexity and
challenging problems coming from not only pedagogical aspects, but also
from the system and even from the, maybe in your perception, irresponsible
outsider behavior.

Further, I am a little bit concerned with your statement "These days I
save such information for the maths students in my care and endeavor to
instill a love of maths in the students in my care and try to overcome the
prejudices that they are hearing in other p arts of their lives against
maths". I am inconvenient with your INSTILLING a love of maths to your
students. In my opinion, loving math is something coming from inside the
student; we can not force to instill something to others. Love is
something very-very subjective and individual.

About social attitude, I think, to some extent, we need to be more
critical and positive thinking. The outsider or society needs a kind of
responsibility from the teachers on how they teach their students. So, as
a math teacher, it is compulsory also for me to explain what happened in
my classroom. I agree with you that there are wonderful math teachers out
there; however they need to talk and explain whenever there are outsider
expect them to do so.

About our expectation to gov. in providing the resources, yes I think
different places have different problems. However, some educ. experts give
the solution that resources or any kinds of media and teaching aids is a
teacher's creativity. Thank for your great comment.

Marsigit Dr MA:
@Art, Mary and others:
Again, having a long discussion with many math educators here, I will put
a concern on the problem of EDUCATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. There are many
wonderful math teachers, but if they do not want to speak the
people/society/parent do not know that they wonderful. Further,
WONDERFULNESS is something relative, flexible, life, dynamic, contextual,
and to some extent subjective. I conclude that we have a big problem in
HOW TO DEVELOP THE SCHEME OF PERFORMING EDUCATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. May we
need to learn from Japanese teachers. They do LESSON STUDY of math
teaching. Lesson Study is a framework of teachers' collaboration in which
they are able to share constructively and arising their problem and then
striving to improve their quality of teaching. Even, internationally, they
sometime invite many educ. practitioners from around the world to come to
look at their practice of teaching. Really I want to have a chance also to
be invited to USA, Ireland, Australia or UK to look at directly the
teaching practice over there. However, I still do not have any information
about the case. Thank

Marsigit Dr MA:
@Abdelraheem: You are right. The very dynamic changes in society influence
directly to what happened in the classroom. Consumerism leads to instantly
habit of life. Even some governments have not passion in waiting the
outcome of education if it is in the long term programs. The very bad
situation is that whenever all components of society are to expect
instantly the result of education. That's why some government implement
centralized curriculum and centralized evaluation in order to control
fully its education. The very bad things happened whenever the schools as
well as the teachers implement NATIONAL EXAMINATION ORIENTED TEACHING
METHOD. They tend just to solve..solve..and solve..math problems. The
teachers and also the students have their mind only finding the best
methods, or even trick in solution math problems. The students, as
Abdelraheem said, do not want to explore or think , they want everything
is ready. In this kind of situation, all theories of education does not
work. This really happened in some countries. And it is the real
challenges for the better math educ. Thank's

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