Testing Teachers

Testing Teachers

Reading this article, I really think Cliff Mass is missing the mark on a few points:


1. The testing process to become a teacher is much more than the West B. There’s the West E and the EdTPA.

2. Math content knowledge is sorely lacking, but there is (at least at UWB) a much more comprehensive look into how math works, the multiple ways to solve equations, and why it works. Dividing fractions is simple, but why it works is pretty interesting. Can you prove Pythagoras’s Theorem Algebraically  Geometrically, and beyond? Personally, I have gone beyond Calculus, Linear Algebra, Matrix Algebra, but deep understanding of math isn’t enough to be able to teach it. How many college professors in mathematics could teach fifth graders?

3. What is the purpose of math? Are we training excellent calculators? We have programs like wolframalpha that can solve very complex problems. There are innumerable computer calculation tools. Is computation more important than problem solving? Understanding why we use mathematics is becoming more and more important. Algorithms and math facts are on the way out, because they don’t take number sense, and instead rely on following steps that calculators already far exceed in speed and accuracy.


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