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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler Fact Fluency – the eternal struggle Reply To: Fact Fluency – the eternal struggle

  • George Garza

    May 17, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Speed isn’t everything even in highschool or later.  Jo Boaler spends a lot of time trying to convince the reader to move away from speed drills in favor of conceptual understanding in “Mathematical Mindsets.”  There’s a plethora of research backed reasons, and ethical reasons, but you are talking about wanting to change a culture, and culture is not very responsive to logic and research, in my experience, as evidenced by the number of teachers that still do drills and throw truckloads of low level problems at their students.

    To change a culture, you’ve got to get the local cultural leaders on board and doing it.   In addition, you’ve got to have real world examples that teachers can see and hear, and hear about, that verifies what you’ve been saying.  Maybe you can see if there are some teachers at the school that are willing to work with you to move away from what doesn’t work.  I bet for many teachers they just can’t imagine a better way.  It’s certainly that way with highschool teachers.

    I was talking to a teacher last night, who is open to PrBL, but he just doesn’t believe that students are even capable of doing much better than they currently are.  I was telling him about the research and the success other teachers are having, and he was open and polite, but skeptical, because for whatever reason, our kids are different.


    I apologize if this response was a little rambley, but I do hope I was somewhat helpful.  I hope you succeed in what you are trying to do.  Students don’t have to be afraid of math, and what you are trying to do is end that.