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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler Getting buy in from administrators

  • Getting buy in from administrators

    Posted by Karen Coty on December 12, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Terrible conversation with my Principal (a former math teacher) today! We were “discussing” why I wasn’t using the book for most of my lessons.  I explained that I was doing something “new” this year by presenting students with problems to solve, and sparking their curiosity, before rushing to the algorithm.  I made mistake of using the term “problem based learning”.  He proceeds to tell me that he was just at a seminar in Florida and learned all about the “negative effects” of inquiry based learning.  “Negative effects” I said???? What??? He stated that the speaker discussed how research has shown that test scores go down with inquiry based learning… He even laughed as I tried to explain the positive effects, making me feel like my attempt to increase student learning (for all) was silly or trivial.  I think I’m still in shock.  

    What do you do when your administration doesn’t get it????

    Larry McCune replied 3 years, 2 months ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Tina Peck

    December 14, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    To get admin to buy in, present them with documented research, tweet about research based instructional practices, invite them into a lesson and finally if it’s good for the students then I do it anyway.

  • Kyle Pearce

    December 15, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    This is a tough one, indeed!

    I wonder if there might be a happy balance you can strike to ensure that he doesn’t believe that your lessons are going to be aimless? 

    I think one of the biggest misconceptions out there is that lessons involving “inquiry” or “investigations” are structured in such a way that the students basically get to do whatever it is they like and learning goals may or may not be achieved. Definitely not the messaging we’re trying to send and I know that is the case for others as well.

    Any progress since you last wrote that message?

  • Larry McCune

    January 8, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    I found this article which talks about some of the disadvantages of Inquiry Based Learning but also discusses potential solutions to those disadvantages. It might help in your discussions with your principal.