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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Does Gates have 'right answer' for math ed?


Photo: Vanessa Garcia/Pexels

The Gates Foundation is going to put more than a billion dollars into math education. Do we know how to teach math? asks Jay Caspian Kang in The New Yorker.


Bob Hughes, Gates' director of K-12 education, hopes to help “African American and Latino students and students of all races and backgrounds experiencing poverty.” The initiative will focus on transition years, such as the move from eighth to ninth grade.


Goals include "cutting costs in order to expand math tutoring for students who have fallen behind their grade level, implementing more digital tools, and developing curricula and classroom materials that will aim to help teachers make math both accessible and challenging," writes Kang.


The foundation is seeking an apolitical "middle ground" between traditionalists and social-justice warriors, a happy place where everyone focuses on learning rather than scoring culture-war points.


Hughes explicitly rejects the progressive idea that getting the right answer isn't as important as developing problem-solving skills through “inquiry-based learning,” he told Kang.

“In other subjects, there may be different answers or you can have a multiplicity of interpretations. Math has a right answer; there are multiple ways to get there, but there is a right answer. We believe it’s important for kids to get to that right answer. And that’s not a universally agreed-upon notion in some quarters.”

Gates researchers believe they can analyze data, identify the best techniques and get teachers to use high-quality curriculum and materials, Kang writes.


Is there a "science of math" teaching? If so, can researchers find it and propagate it?

247 views9 comments

9 ความคิดเห็น


Guest
02 ธ.ค. 2565

I predict Gates will spend a lot of money to hire "experts" which will drive the quality of math instruction down. Then when it fails this shipload of foolish ideas will be sailed out into the middle of the ocean where no one can see it and sunk to the bottom.

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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
01 ธ.ค. 2565

Given the Gates Foundation's sponsorship of the Common Core standards, which drove American achievement down, and its record for notably poor returns on its other educational investments, there's great reason for skepticism; if, instead, they had merely copied the Chinese mathematical curriculum standards for compulsory education, and had distributed these among year levels in keeping with the European school syllabuses, all U.S. children might well have accessed opportunities to learn mathematics advanced beyond calculus in high colleges qualifying students for universities, while the many who were less competent in this subject could have been guided into vocational training for technical careers that most could have accessed -- but that would have required studying models of success outside the United States,…

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lady_lessa
01 ธ.ค. 2565

While I wouldn't mind taking some of his excess money, I question the starting point. Shouldn't the starting point be first grade, so that no student ever falls behind. They get the help early.

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Steve Sherman
Steve Sherman
30 พ.ย. 2565

If he just wanted to get rid of $1B he could have saved the time and effort and just cut me a check

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zeev
30 พ.ย. 2565

mrmillermathteacher said it right. I would add to his "small schools" the billions Gates wasted on his "Measures of Effective Teaching" that came to nothing, and Gates "pinnacle achievement" of imposing the mediocre Common Core on the nation, as well as keeping peddling unproven textbooks as "high quality" ones on states and school districts.


In fact, I wouldn't even blindly trust Gates' malario work (smile). See below.


https://www.ajtmh.org/view/journals/tpmd/76/2/article-p237.xml


https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2016/3/22/with-another-major-malaria-failure-wheres-gates-going-now.html


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Guest
01 ธ.ค. 2565
ตอบกลับไปที่

My understanding of the history of the small schools initiative was that they were in the middle of the project, which included a research component, when the Gates Found bailed on it in favor of putting all its eggs in the CC basket. Though they pulled the plug, the research arm continued. When it finally came out with the results, it showed that smaller schools did actually work. By then, the Gates Found didn't care, and had already moved on to its second or third successor project. Ann in L.A.

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