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Old 12-31-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,006,535 times
Reputation: 14519

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuala View Post
Being a graduate of a Russian school NN years ago, I just recently came in contact with how they teach math here in a Canadian elementary, through my kids. I am flabbergasted to say the least.

An example of learning algebra in Russia:

The Russians start school at 7.
8 years old, 2nd grade - memorizing multiplication tables by rote. No ifs, ands or buts.
9 years old, 3rd grade - simple word problems to convert into equations and solve - . (Kate has 7 candies. She and Michael have 15 candies in between them. How many candies does Michael have? -> students are supposed to convert

7 + x = 15
x = 15 - 7
x = 8

Later in the year, problems with two unknowns, 2 equations (well, for advanced kids).

10 years old, 4rd grade - starting integers. Long division / long multiplication.
11 years old, 5th grade - integer rules are all memorized ( a(b+c) = ab + ac etc.)

What I see here though is a fear of learning by rote. A fear, or inability to make children to memorize. Or discarded as too abusive?? (we had to memorize poems/texts, as well. I think memory development is wonderful). Not talking about teachers, more about school boards who set the rules. But the teachers have not learned by the rote, neither (since the drills were thrown out in the 80s?) so they basically don't know any better.

How can one never know multiplication tables??? At 8, we'd spend about 2 weeks on a single times table. Each pupil had to stand in front of the class and recite the table. Then we'd move onto the next table. The tables were in your bloodstream after that. I am sure older Canadians/Americans remember the drills, too.

Leaving my kids' math education to their school is unthinkable to me. They would not know how to add/subtract in column by the 4th grade. I teach my kids what I listed above, at home. Yet, my kids' doing it all automatically IS FROWN UPON !!!! I feel so bad for mid/high school students as they have no foundation.

Apparently, the sorry state of math teaching bothers a lot of Canadians, as can be seen in the 600 comments to this article:

Why Alex can’t add (or subtract, multiply or divide)
It's the same in the united states. Here we call rote learning "Drill and Kill". It is openly bashed. We don't like anything that, remotely, smacks of competition where there are winners and losers. If we allowed rote learning, some kids would prove to be better at it than others. I agree that rote memorization is needed to progress in math and that children should be doing word problems early. This is why my kids attended a charter school that used Singapore math.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:03 PM
 
Location: NW Penna.
1,756 posts, read 3,081,705 times
Reputation: 1848
When I was a kid, that's exactly how math was taught! (nuala's raodmap) Algebra I and II were available to 7th and 8th grade. I'm not *that* old, but I guess the USA's educational styles have changed. Math was all by rote. Heck, math is as systematic as anything gets. How do you NOT learn it by rote??
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:02 AM
 
Location: Dearborn
179 posts, read 212,128 times
Reputation: 129
For some reason people seem to think our education system is much worse than it really is. Our students outperform Russians in math, science and writing according to the latest PISA data. Russia is a good example of an education system that was world class at one point and then left to decay... I really hope that's not what we are doing right now!
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:09 AM
 
Location: Dearborn
179 posts, read 212,128 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
It's the same in the united states. Here we call rote learning "Drill and Kill". It is openly bashed. We don't like anything that, remotely, smacks of competition where there are winners and losers. If we allowed rote learning, some kids would prove to be better at it than others. I agree that rote memorization is needed to progress in math and that children should be doing word problems early. This is why my kids attended a charter school that used Singapore math.
When I was in 5th grade they switched the curriculum from the traditional drill-and-kill to a more conceptual, confusing curriculum. I remember the teacher showing us the new multiplication and long division methods, and now you had 4 different ways to multiply and 3 to divide, and none of them was as easy as the normal way. I think that with the renewed emphasis on testing and teacher accountability, they are going to have to go back to basics.

Anyone with elementary schoolers know if they still do those "Mad Minutes"?
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,006,535 times
Reputation: 14519
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnr83 View Post
For some reason people seem to think our education system is much worse than it really is. Our students outperform Russians in math, science and writing according to the latest PISA data. Russia is a good example of an education system that was world class at one point and then left to decay... I really hope that's not what we are doing right now!
Could you link to your data please?

According to the 2007 TIMSS report, we were behind Russia, though the difference is not statistically significant for the 8th grade scores. I'll see if I can find anything newer.

http://nces.ed.gov/timss/table07_1.asp

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 01-08-2012 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Dearborn
179 posts, read 212,128 times
Reputation: 129
The PISA examination, the gold standard of comparing education systems from country to country.
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:50 AM
 
12,486 posts, read 27,346,163 times
Reputation: 7001
My daughter, who is a grad student majoring in International Education Policy and Management, talked quite a bit about the PISA tests when she was home on Christmas break. I found this site, but the surveys are not open to the general public: Presentation of the PISA 2010 Results One thing she said that was very interesting was that the country that does the best on the PISA tests (Finland??) does not have it's students do numerous standardized tests and exams. She said that the teachers were highly paid and that the families worked together with the teachers and administration for the same good outcome. She said that it's not thought to be replicable in the US.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:16 AM
 
15,468 posts, read 17,121,943 times
Reputation: 15169
Yep. Finland has a totally different education system from many countries. This is a big success story as in the 70s, their achievement was quite low.



1. Children don't start school until they are 7
2. The school day is shorter
3. There is very little homework
4. They recruit the brightest and the best as teachers and pay them well.
5. All teachers have an intense 3 year graduate program.
6. They do very little standardized testing.
7. They provide free social supports and free meals for all students who need them.

BCTF > Finland

How Finland Reached the Top of the Educational Rankings : NEA Today
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:13 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
74,163 posts, read 65,853,930 times
Reputation: 70727
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelco View Post
Thank you NellVA, I recently read that article, but I am looking for more in depth aspects of their curriculum, which could be available in English language. Any ideas?
Also check out Romanian math. I've heard they're the best in math education.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:32 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
74,163 posts, read 65,853,930 times
Reputation: 70727
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuala View Post
Being a graduate of a Russian school NN years ago, I just recently came in contact with how they teach math here in a Canadian elementary, through my kids. I am flabbergasted to say the least.

An example of learning algebra in Russia:

The Russians start school at 7.
8 years old, 2nd grade - memorizing multiplication tables by rote. No ifs, ands or buts.
9 years old, 3rd grade - simple word problems to convert into equations and solve - . (Kate has 7 candies. She and Michael have 15 candies in between them. How many candies does Michael have? -> students are supposed to convert

7 + x = 15
x = 15 - 7
x = 8

Later in the year, problems with two unknowns, 2 equations (well, for advanced kids).

10 years old, 4rd grade - starting integers. Long division / long multiplication.
11 years old, 5th grade - integer rules are all memorized ( a(b+c) = ab + ac etc.)

What I see here though is a fear of learning by rote. A fear, or inability to make children to memorize. Or discarded as too abusive?? (we had to memorize poems/texts, as well. I think memory development is wonderful). Not talking about teachers, more about school boards who set the rules. But the teachers have not learned by the rote, neither (since the drills were thrown out in the 80s?) so they basically don't know any better.

How can one never know multiplication tables??? At 8, we'd spend about 2 weeks on a single times table. Each pupil had to stand in front of the class and recite the table. Then we'd move onto the next table. The tables were in your bloodstream after that. I am sure older Canadians/Americans remember the drills, too.

Leaving my kids' math education to their school is unthinkable to me. They would not know how to add/subtract in column by the 4th grade. I teach my kids what I listed above, at home. Yet, my kids' doing it all automatically IS FROWN UPON !!!! I feel so bad for mid/high school students as they have no foundation.

Apparently, the sorry state of math teaching bothers a lot of Canadians, as can be seen in the 600 comments to this article:

Why Alex can’t add (or subtract, multiply or divide)
I've never heard of the times tables memorization being thrown out of the curriculum. When did this happen? Or is this only Canada? In US schools, the times tables were memorized in 3rd grade, normally at age 8. Long division was in 4th grade, age 9. I've never heard of "long multiplication".

A strong memory is a key component of intelligence. Training the memory is essential. It's interesting that you mention memorizing poetry, and that you're teaching your child at home. Aside from some feeble poetry-learning exercises in 4th grade in school, the only poetry memorization experience I had, was from the "Russian" education I received at home, after school. I also learned Russian grammar in my Russian home-schooling, as you can imagine. I don't know about Canadian schools, but American public schools don't teach grammar, or in the states where I've lived and also done a bit of teaching, they don't. Students arrive at university, without being able to write research papers coherently. Universities now require a writing class in some form, in the freshman year, which is remedial work. It used to be expected that students would already have acquired those skills in high school, but so few did, that universities had to start requiring a writing course.

The North American school curricula fail in more areas than just math.
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