Category Archives: Education

“A Lesson in Teaching to the Test, From E.B. White,” by Anne Stone and Jeff Nichols

Anne Stone and Jeff Nichols beautifully make the case against standardized testing at the New York Times SchoolBook blog (hat-tip to Susan Ohanian). Here is an excerpt: In light of current controversies around testing and teacher evaluation, let’s do a … Continue reading

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“Student Learning Can Only Be Described, Not Measured,” by Rog Lucido

Rog Lucido has written an interesting article against standardized testing, and suggesting better alternatives. (Hat-tip to Susan Ohanian.) He argues that the numerical aggregation of final test scores is not valid and therefore not meaningful, and that subjective assessments together … Continue reading

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“No Student Left Untested,” by Diane Ravitch

Measuring teacher effectiveness by the performance of students on standardized tests is insane. New York State has just signed on to a particularly dangerous form of this insanity. Diane Ravitch has clearly explained the insanity and its destructive consequences in … Continue reading

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Both Students And Professors Need Certification, and the Elsevier Boycott

I’ve written before about the evils of grading (for example, see here and here), the main purpose of which is to make certifying students easy. Our current grading system in mathematics is counterproductive to learning (students are inhibited from engaging … Continue reading

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How Much Mathematics Should A Student Memorize? Part 6, Derivatives Of Exponential And Logarithmic Functions

In teaching calculus many, many times over the years, I strove to present to my students my approach to learning and mastering the subject. Part of this approach can be summarized by the slogan memorize the minimum As a teacher, … Continue reading

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Daniel Coyle On The Yin And Yang Of Learning

Unencumbered time and enchantment … why can’t we have more of that in our schools? Oh right, it’s because we’re too busy cramming vital content into our poor students’ heads … and then crushing their spirits as we drag them … Continue reading

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How Much Mathematics Should A Student Memorize? Part 5, The Multiplication Table

There has been a war in the mathematics education world for the past few decades about whether students should master basic skills, or whether they should use calculators or software for basic skills to save time and energy for higher-level … Continue reading

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