KTM User Pages
Click here to find the comments for this topic
“It’s basically, you cover everything, everywhere, because somehow, somebody will learn something somewhere,” Mr. Schmidt told conference-goers.
Most researchers, though, have focused on curricula in an effort to discern why students in some countries tend to outshine the rest of the world, including the United States, in international comparisons. As the principal of a Finnish intermediate-level school that is arguably the highest-scoring school in the world, Maarit Rossi, another conference-goer, has fielded many such queries. Finland ranked first in math in the 2005 PISA, and the 8th graders in Ms. Rossi’s school, Kirkkoharjun School in Kirkkonummi, scored highest in that nation. Now studying in the United States on a sabbatical, Ms. Rossi sees obvious contrasts in U.S. and Finnish textbooks. The U.S. texts, she said, are much thicker and more cluttered than the ones her students use. “It’s impossible when you have 1,100 pages of math that you get the message,” she said. William H. Schmidt, an education professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, would agree. He has conducted comparisons of U.S. math curricula and those used by countries that consistently score high on TIMSS. As early as the late 1990s, he characterized U.S. math classes as “a mile wide and an inch deep” compared with those of the high-scoring, mostly Asian, nations. “It’s basically, you cover everything, everywhere, because somehow, somebody will learn something somewhere,” Mr. Schmidt told conference-goers. More recently, his analyses have also shown that the high-performing countries teach math in a sequence that mathematicians see as more coherent, and that may be even more influential in promoting students’ understanding.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief that scholars will continue to scour TIMSS & PISA for policy insights. I'd like to see the question of whether mathematics taught in a coherent sequence is influential in promoting students' understanding answered in my lifetime. That would be grand.
Glencoe page splatter
Doug Sundseth on ransom note typography
Tom Friedman piles on
distance tutors & mathematicallycorrect review Glencoe
page splatter and the frontal lobes
page splatter redux
-- CatherineJohnson - 29 Nov 2006 Back to: Main Page.