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*To*: seul-edu@seul.org*Subject*: Re: [seul-edu] Looking for math curriculum*From*: James Oden <joden@eworld.wox.org>*Date*: Mon, 14 May 2001 21:09:33 -0400 (EDT)*Delivery-Date*: Mon, 14 May 2001 21:25:10 -0400*In-Reply-To*: <01c0dc1d$d1b2eb60$ae271e89@prentda> from "Dave Prentice" at May 13, 2001 09:30:19 PM*Reply-To*: seul-edu@seul.org*Sender*: owner-seul-edu@seul.org

> My question: does anybody have contacts or information about computer-based remedial math programs for at-risk high school students? We really need a comprehensive curriculum that starts from the basics such as number sense, counting and so on. Ideally, it should progress all the way through Algebra 1 and geometry. If it matters, the network runs Linux but can also access anything on the Internet. I don't have good enough hardware to run Windows emulation at any decent speed. > While being all four the use of computers in education, I am not sure that what you are trying to do is solvable via computer application. Before I go on, let me say that I submit this in all humbleness, and not as an attempt flame or belittle. Where I am coming from is that there are several reasons various students do not excel in Mathematics, and lack of computer instruction is not one of them. Here are a few of those reasons: 1) The primary reason, IMHO, is that students see no use for mathematics in _their_ world. 2) No teacher has had the time to really reach the children in each's own individual way of learning. 3) Most students who do miserably in mathematics believe that the concepts are beyond them (in short they lack confidence in themselves to master this discipline). 4) They generally have a _very_ low self esteem. Though, related to three they are not the same thing. 5) They live in a culture that frowns upon excelling in things academic. 6) They do not have role models that deem things academic, mathematics or anything else, to be of any particular importance. 7) In many cases, their parents have no interest in mathematics, and just as the parents did not do well with mathematics, they do not expect there children to do well, neither do they make they effort to try to really encourage their children (in whatever way you like) to exceed in this area. So, looking at these reasons, and I am sure we can find others, one has to come to the conclusion is what the non-excelling in mathematics children really need is a TEACHER. They need a teacher that inspires that inspires them, helps them to see clearly beuaty and wonder (sorry if I wax poetic) of mathematics. They need a teacher that will spend the time they need with them. They need a teacher that _believes_ in them, and prove to them that this stuff is actually pretty simple and that they these smart children can get this stuff. They need a Teacher that encourages them. Beyond that though, they need role models that build them up rather than tear them down, and parents that build environments that foster discipline (and I mean the kind of discipline that leads one to attack a problem until it is solved, not the punishiment kind). In short they need truly caring yet tough individuals to invest their time in these children. Now I am not saying that you cannot use computers as tool to help teach the children. The problem is that until you get these children excited about mathematics (and learning for that matter) then it will in most cases only be a poor excuse for teaching. For instance, a graphics calculator in the hands of someone excited about mathematics, is a vessel for exploration of waters yet uncharted by that student. On the other hand a graphics calculator in the hands of a student disintrested in mathematics is the fastest way to get the answer he has been compelled to provide. OK. I'm done. Hope I did not offend anybody, but this is something I feel very strongly about. I see so many states pooring lots of money into computer infrastructure thinking that this will somehow prepare these students for job markets of the future, when, personally, I would rather see someone who has mastered Calculas, can express his/herself cogently in paper and verbally, and can think logically, than 10 certified in something dudes. Cheers...james

**Follow-Ups**:**[seul-edu] Computers in education - costs, etc.***From:*Harry McGregor <micros@azstarnet.com>

**References**:**[seul-edu] Looking for math curriculum***From:*Dave Prentice <dprentice@uno.edu>

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