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Old 11-10-2013, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,551,149 times
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Does anyone care to have a discussion as to whether teaching less or teaching more is better? I have administration that would prefer I teach less with the idea being the kids have more time to learn the material in detail. I'm in the teach more camp because I see teaching less as doing a disservice to out top. If I teach 90% of the material and the bottom of the class learns 50% of that material they've learned 45% of the available material while the top had the opportunity to learn 90% of the material. If I lower that to 70% so the bottom can learn 60% of the material they learn 42% of the available material while the top is now limited to learning only 70% of the available material because they never saw the rest.

IMO, the way you fix that the bottom can't pass is lower the bar for passing. Honestly, for my bottom kids, learning 50% of what I teach is good. They are not the kids who are going to major in science in college anyway. IMO the top who are far more likely to major in science are cheated when we cut material out so the bottom can pass.

So of the two scenarios presented above, which would you choose and why?
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Pa
42,763 posts, read 52,875,261 times
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Teach more on the computer. Have them search and find the answer. Teach more and give more packets to fill out. My son has so many test and quizes that I think he has more than my college classes. More hands on activies. Honestly half the crap that was taught in my past is not needed.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:04 AM
 
Location: A coal patch in Pennsyltucky
10,379 posts, read 10,670,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Does anyone care to have a discussion as to whether teaching less or teaching more is better? I have administration that would prefer I teach less with the idea being the kids have more time to learn the material in detail. I'm in the teach more camp because I see teaching less as doing a disservice to out top. If I teach 90% of the material and the bottom of the class learns 50% of that material they've learned 45% of the available material while the top had the opportunity to learn 90% of the material. If I lower that to 70% so the bottom can learn 60% of the material they learn 42% of the available material while the top is now limited to learning only 70% of the available material because they never saw the rest.

IMO, the way you fix that the bottom can't pass is lower the bar for passing. Honestly, for my bottom kids, learning 50% of what I teach is good. They are not the kids who are going to major in science in college anyway. IMO the top who are far more likely to major in science are cheated when we cut material out so the bottom can pass.

So of the two scenarios presented above, which would you choose and why?
If the students learn 50% of the material that you teach, how do you test them? Are you testing on everything you teach? If so, that would infer that the bottom of the class is scoring less than 50% on tests. Do you curve the grades and make a 50% a C?

I agree with your thoughts. It points to the need to go back to tracking in education so that there is not such a range of abilities in classes.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
20,126 posts, read 16,167,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
If the students learn 50% of the material that you teach, how do you test them? Are you testing on everything you teach? If so, that would infer that the bottom of the class is scoring less than 50% on tests. Do you curve the grades and make a 50% a C?

I agree with your thoughts. It points to the need to go back to tracking in education so that there is not such a range of abilities in classes.
I so want tracking returned- not for the teacher's sake but for the students.

I'm okay with teaching towards the top IF you take care not to academically crush the bottom, or the middle for that matter. This include allowing students to recover points lost on that accelerated testing without making them jump through a zillion hoops first. It also means making scores that result in C's a bigger range and making D's even bigger. In other words, if you are teaching at an accelerated level, you need to make your grade curves reflect that. Otherwise, you are going to end up with some justifiably upset students and parents - and therefore an upset administrator.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,988 posts, read 5,386,350 times
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I'm in the teach the concept camp. Some people feel that means teaching less, because there is less extraneous detail. I firmly feel that memorizing a lot of details is pointless without a solid understanding of the overarching concept. Higher level students have extended activities to enhance their conceptual understanding of the material. My discipline is biology, if that makes a difference.
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Old 11-10-2013, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
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Teaching less is the popular method now.
Group work, group learning and you are just the facilitator.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,551,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
If the students learn 50% of the material that you teach, how do you test them? Are you testing on everything you teach? If so, that would infer that the bottom of the class is scoring less than 50% on tests. Do you curve the grades and make a 50% a C?

I agree with your thoughts. It points to the need to go back to tracking in education so that there is not such a range of abilities in classes.
If given the choice, I would extend the D- range down to 50%. A D- is not declaring a student college ready but given that many kids aren't going to study science in college, 50% is not half bad. IMO, 50% in chemistry should be passing as long as a substantial amount of material is being taught. I find that all of my kids do better if I teach more.
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:47 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,740,274 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Does anyone care to have a discussion as to whether teaching less or teaching more is better? I have administration that would prefer I teach less with the idea being the kids have more time to learn the material in detail. I'm in the teach more camp because I see teaching less as doing a disservice to out top. If I teach 90% of the material and the bottom of the class learns 50% of that material they've learned 45% of the available material while the top had the opportunity to learn 90% of the material. If I lower that to 70% so the bottom can learn 60% of the material they learn 42% of the available material while the top is now limited to learning only 70% of the available material because they never saw the rest.

IMO, the way you fix that the bottom can't pass is lower the bar for passing. Honestly, for my bottom kids, learning 50% of what I teach is good. They are not the kids who are going to major in science in college anyway. IMO the top who are far more likely to major in science are cheated when we cut material out so the bottom can pass.

So of the two scenarios presented above, which would you choose and why?
I do teach the top students. I teach slower but in greater depth. The top students are not better served by greater breadth of knowledge by by greater depth.
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:53 PM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,740,274 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raena77 View Post
Teach more on the computer. Have them search and find the answer. Teach more and give more packets to fill out. My son has so many test and quizes that I think he has more than my college classes. More hands on activies. Honestly half the crap that was taught in my past is not needed.
As a science teacher I cannot express enough what a bad idea the bolded part is. High school students do not have the basis yet for determining if a source of information is valid or not and are just as likely to waste time learning misinformation, and there exists lots of it out there on the internet.

And yes, of course a k-12 student will have more tests than a college student. We are responsible for formative assessments before the summates because students are not yet capable of the level of self directed studying expected of college students. Can you imagine two tests and a final as the entire grading basis of a high school class? All the kids would fail.

As for what is needed and what is not, that is not for any one person to decide as it will vary wildly depending on field. I certainly, have never needed to diagram a sentence or compare two pieces of literature but that is because I am a scientist. I have needed literally everything and then some learned in math, science and tech classes. For other people that would not be true. This is why public school exists, to best serve EVERYONE with a minimum level of education necessary to go onto any field.
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,551,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eresh View Post
I'm in the teach the concept camp. Some people feel that means teaching less, because there is less extraneous detail. I firmly feel that memorizing a lot of details is pointless without a solid understanding of the overarching concept. Higher level students have extended activities to enhance their conceptual understanding of the material. My discipline is biology, if that makes a difference.
I'm not into memorization either. I don't make my kids memorize the periodic table but I know teachers who do. However, my content is such that the more you know, the deeper you can go. Teaching chemistry is like strip mining. You have to go wide before you can go deep.

I have no idea how chemistry compares to biology. I have a strong dislike for the biological sciences because so much memorization is involved or was when I took the classes. I prefer things you can understand.
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