Every student deserves
great math instruction
Students must develop math competence! Many parents have made it clear that this is a priority for them and they aren’t happy with what is happening. CBE absolutely must be responsive and make sure that our students return to being at the top in math. This means that students have foundational concepts and skills (knowledge of math facts) AND strong reasoning and problem solving. It isn’t one or the other! Parents know that to be the best in math our students need to understand it and have fluency with facts. They must have facts at their command so that they can solve problems. Parents quite rightly want both facts and problem solving to be the focus of instruction! And by the way, lots of teachers want this too. Many teachers object to being told that any single method is the only approach allowed.
Within CBE, many teachers are feeling that to be considered a good teacher they are required to use discovery learning and inquiry approaches. And they should use these in the way that they understand senior administrators to interpret them. This means that they often feel they are being asked to use 'minimally guided instruction'. This has been interpreted, too often, as asking them to virtually eliminate the use of direct instruction or memorization. Teachers know that a variety of teaching methods, including direct instruction and providing practice (where suitable for the learning objective) should be available to meet the needs of their students.
As a psychologist, Sara knows how memory and reasoning work together. She knows how students learn and where difficulties can arise. She spent years consulting with teachers and helping them to know what students need and how they can deliver it. She is perfectly positioned to make sure that Board policies lead to the implementation of a Math Strategy which is responsive to the input which the public provided. She will be able to work with administration so that the approach to math work for our kids!
Watch for more on this topic as the campaign unfolds!