Teaching & Learning

What math has taught him

Sam Hughes is the author of the Venn Diagram cited in my previous post. I also recommend his list of “Things mathematics has taught me”: That there are such things as unanswerable questions — indeed, provably unanswerable questions That Occam’s… Read More ›

Another gender difference?

My impression is that there are significantly more female teen bloggers than male ones, but maybe I’m wrong. A fascinating study by David Huffaker says that “BlogCensus randomly sampled 490,000 blogs to find 40% male and 36% female, with the… Read More ›

Homework considered harmful

Homework can be counterproductive, according to an article on the physorg.com website. Here are a few excerpts: Instead of improving educational achievement in countries around the world, increases in homework may actually undercut teaching effectiveness and worsen disparities in student… Read More ›

Building learning communities

A conference on Building Learning Communities — right here in Weston! I don’t know much about it, but it’s led by Wellesley’s distinguished former tech coordinator, Alan November, and the blurb looks interesting. Stay tuned for more info…

An argument from continuity

Two sophomores approached my colleague Josh with a question: “How can we construct a fair 5-sided die?” Josh posed a prior question: Is it even possible to construct such a die? He fashioned an interesting argument from continuity: Consider two… Read More ›

The new SAT

An interesting column by Mark Franek concerning the writing section of the new SAT includes the following observation: The writing section is entirely new — 70 percent of it is composed of pesky multiple-choice grammatical questions (where students aren’t writing… Read More ›

The view from college math

Rudbeckia Hirta (a clever pseudonym for a math professor who carefully keeps her true identity hidden) observes: Due to reasons beyond my understanding, high school math and college math are completely unaligned. The K-12 system sends us students whose knowledge… Read More ›

Where visuals fail

Some of us couldn’t possibly forget the 1969 draft lottery, the new and supposedly “fair” system to pick who was going to be sent to Vietnam. My Algebra 2 class is studying probability and was remarkably interested in learning about… Read More ›

Don’t do this

From this morning’s Boston Globe: A public school teacher fed up with his students’ behavior found a way to berate them in the context of a class assignment. The Jefferson Parish teacher wrote and distributed a two-page essay to his… Read More ›