[plt-scheme] Re: HTDP - evidently not for everyone.

From: hendrik at topoi.pooq.com (hendrik at topoi.pooq.com)
Date: Wed Feb 10 14:53:04 EST 2010

On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 02:25:56PM -0500, Todd O'Bryan wrote:
> One thing that I've been focusing on recently is the mantra that
> schools that have had success with historically low-performing groups
> all seem to share: Assess early, often, and respond to the
> assessments.
> The math teacher next to me is incessant--ask her about the individual
> ability of any student in her class and she can tell you what they
> know, what they kind of know, and what they don't know, and she can do
> this because she is constantly checking. She has developed good
> questions that really determine whether students "get" a particular
> concept. For example, she can give a student a three-question quiz
> about exponents and, because she's picked the questions very
> carefully, can tell you with high confidence what that student does
> and doesn't know.

One math professor I know tells me that one year he announced to his 
students that he was lazy, and he wasn't going to bother giving lectures 
that year.  Instead, he was going to give them tests.  And they had to 
pass all of them perfectly to get a passing grade.  He did allow them to 
take a test as many times as necessary to get it right.

One student came to him complaining that it was ridiculous that he had 
taken one same test five times and he still had to do it another 
time.  The professor agreed that it was ridiculous, but he still had to 
do it again.

He ran his class walking around watching students do problems, and 
giving them individual hints.  He told them that since he wasn't 
lecturing, he would let them talk in class all they wanted, but they 
could only talk about math.

They hated him.  They even petitioned the department for his removal, 
though the chairman stood by him.

They all passed.

One of his students to him a year later, after starting a 
program in some apparently unrelated course, like biology, and thanked 
him.  Apparently some of the elementary courses in that field required 
mathematical methods, and they were all *easy* because he has suffered 
through that math course.

-- hendrik

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