Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dimensional analysis

A reader of this site signing as Anonymous has left this fantastic comment modeled on Vern Williams' 4 3/8 dimension:

One morning as I was walking my kids up to school, the sidewalk ended and we fell into the Sevenths dimension and I actually believed the following:

All my child will ever need to know about sevenths is that they are a little bit bigger than eighths, and a little bit smaller than sixths.

It is not my job to teach my child.

It is my job to support my child's learning.

My child should never be bored in class.

My child isn't just wandering around his classroom chatting with classmates, he's a kinesthetic learner with high verbal intelligence.

Children don't mindlessly copy from each other in small groups; they richly create meaning in conversation with their peers.

My child will discover efficient mathematical algorithms on his own in a way that makes sense to him.

If my child hasn't memorized his basic addition facts in first grade, he'll have another chance in second grade.

If my child hasn't memorized his basic addition facts in second grade, he'll have another chance in third grade.

I should drill my child on his basic addition facts at home in order to support the conceptual learning that takes place at school.

If my child hasn't memorized his multiplication facts in third grade, he'll have another chance in fourth grade.

If my child hasn't memorized his multiplication facts in fourth grade, he'll have another chance in fifth grade.

I should drill my child on his multiplication facts at home in order to support the conceptual learning that takes place at school.

I should be more active in the PTA.

I should go to a school board meeting and see real decisions being made.

I should feel guilty questioning the curriculum even if I have a college degree in the field of interest.

A 25 year-old teacher is a licensed professional who is fully qualified to teach my child.

Children should write about math a lot.

Teachers will lovingly read everything my child writes because, as teachers, they look forward to creating an authentic portfolio that assesses my child's true mathematical learnings across thematic units.

My child's teacher will be so proud of him when he graduates from high school that we should planning on buying her a ticket for the commencement ceremony so she can sit with us.

I finally woke up in a cold sweat from this nightmare and asked myself, does anyone actually believe those things? The answer is a resounding yes. Every parent of every kindergartener I have ever met, myself included.

1 comment:

Catherine Johnson said...

That's brilliant!