What we value in students

Always interesting Tina Barseghian, a blogger for KQED, wrote a recent post about what we should value in our students (beyond test scores, as she explicitly points out). She included a great infographic (by Jackie Gerstein), quoted below. Reading it immediately triggered a question and two comparisons. The question was, “To what extent does this generic collection apply to math teaching?” Probably not much, at least in the first reaction of most readers. But actually…

The first comparison that it triggered was with a list of “attributes of a successful mathematician” that our department came up with collectively at a meeting last spring:

  • Persistence
  • Communication
  • Resilience
  • Critical thinking
  • Logic
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Organization
  • Collaboration

Certainly not the same list, by any means — but the similarities are remarkable and striking.

The second comparison was with the list of goals for my Honors Geometry class, a list that I share with my students the first week of each year and with the parents a month later at Back to School Night. The goals are called “CSI: Weston” — corny, of course, but perhaps the initialism makes them more memorable. They are Communication, Self-reliance, and Information. Again a clear confluence with the characteristics in the infographic.

Delicious food for thought here.




Categories: Teaching & Learning, Weston