Saturday, 16 June 2007


We know we're paying them, the question is, "for what?"

Whether students are underachieving, average, gifted, or in need of individual attention, parents should recognize their own and their children’s role in learning mathematics and achieving optimal success. They [parents] should know the specific academic standards their children are to meet at each grade level, and they [parents] should be able to monitor their children’s performance and provide extra help when needed. Parents should be responsible for obtaining information regarding their children’s progress and know how to interpret that information appropriately. Above all, they should encourage a positive attitude toward mathematics.

Parents are their children’s first teachers. A child’s early experiences with mathematics at home can provide an important foundation for learning the content standards for kindergarten (Saxe, Guberman, and Gearhart 1987). Parents and other family members can nurture and stimulate mathematics development in their children and, for many children, will need to be involved in their children’s mathematics program at all grade levels (Stevenson et al. 1990)

However, schools must take greater responsibility to support the early mathematics development of children who are less fortunate and do not benefit from an educated, supportive family environment. Such support may require after-school homework, transportation services to bring children to school early for extra tutoring, extended tutoring support, and similar kinds of programs. -- California Mathematics Framework 2005, Chapter 7
So lets see: It's up to the parents to be the "first teachers," to "know [...] specific academic standards, to "monitor their children's performance," to "obtain information" (and "know how to interpret" it!), to "provide extra help," and "to be involved in their children's mathematics program at all grade levels." Oh yes, and above all "encourage a positive attitude toward mathematics."

Catherine Johnson (who ferreted this one out) wonders:
What parent apart from a person working in a math-related field can do this?

And how many parents working in math-related fields can do this? Pedagogical content knowledge is different from domain knowledge.

Next question: are parents expected to be able to do this for every subject their child will be "learning" at school?

And while the parents are doing all this, the school is doing... what, exactly?

Posted by: Old Grouch in Rants at 02:31:48 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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