I actually met the author of this NYT magazine piece met a few years ago when she was the key note speaker at a WISE (www.wiseservices.org) conference at the Queens HS for Teaching. How ironic.
My 1500 character comment lies below:
I almost didn’t read the article because you, or your editors, decided to add Common Core to the lede. There is far more to the common core discussion than how it relates to teaching math. Unfortunately the use of the term is a red flag. I wish your editors or you didn’t add it and am glad I read on.
I loved math until the moment math contained more letters than numbers. This, by the way is great for tipping 18% and calculating my gas mileage in my head. I have to thank my elementary teachers for that. I had one great math teacher at the Bx HS of Science who taught the required math class to those of us who were more into social studies and English. She did all of the things you refer to in the article.
I have noted for years how “I, Me, and We” has been a horror show in NYC middle and high schools. Not only was it bad in math, some geniuses (TFA among them) decided it should be the mandatory way to teach English and social studies as well. Truth be told, math teachers could have learned a lot from their social studies colleagues who since before the 1960s in NYC were using a method whereby students would have to solve a problem or answer an essential question about something in history.
Love to chat more but running out of characters. Read the book: Doing the Right Thing: A teacher speaks.
But on my own blog I can go on.
The article actually talks much more about how innovative math teaching is NOT Common Core because it was created by teachers decades ago. It focuses on how difficult it is to teach teachers to use newer unfamiliar methods. This is often true, but I have seen it work under the right circumstances. Those circumstances are collaborative, cordial and teacher directed.
Top down has never worked. Common Core is top down.
Ms. Green illustrates that with her thorough discussion of the Japanese use of collaborative “lesson study”. Teachers in the US and in some University Schools of Education (Fordham for one) have used that and also “Critical Friends” groups for many years.
Why not mention that? Why make it seem as if we don’t or can’t?
A glossed over generalization is harmful for the public to read and for those the article is supposedly about. Many teachers will be insulted because they are more like the two positive examples Ms. Green uses (Magdalene Lambert and Akihiro Takahashi than anyone would know by reading this.
That isn’t fair to any of them, whether they teach math or any other subject.
Oddly the article Ms. Green writes criticizes Common core as well. It should be.
Good teachers get kids to investigate and decide on their perspective and don’t need CC to do it.