Redrafting the Revolution

Sessums expands.

A few notes from this unwashed skeptic.

#41: Jargon kills conversation.

First and foremost, Sessums does us all a solid by stepping lightly around hackneyed eduspeak, rigorously defining terms like “stakeholder,” “community,” even “school.” In his one NCLB-related entry, he steers the conversation away from objections that are recognizably invalid. This was easy reading.

Even after reading through it a couple of times, though, and grooving on the self-empowerment vibe (#10: “People have the power to educate themselves.”), I remain uncertain of and more than a little concerned with how this will change my instruction.

Practically speaking.

How will this revolution change how I teach proportions?

How will this revolution change how we teach literacy?

How will this revolution change how I teach [concept x, which I’ve been teaching functionally well without technology]?

How will this revolution change how we teach minorities and underperforming populations?

Some cynical corner of my head keeps insisting that the sort of self-directedness required to educate oneself is found primarily in the higher-performing, upper decile of socioeconomic classes. (viz. Kuropatwa’s exemplary class blogs, which include AP Calc, Precalculus, and Applied Math — no first-year Algebra. I don’t want to make assumptions about his students’ SES but I am curious.)

This could be a function of narrowmindedness, unadaptability, or even racism. I don’t know. It does reflect my experience teaching Title 1. Robert Brewer (surnamed “The Nerd,” in the comments), a guy who’s got a great way with low-SES, under-performing students, used some self-guided instructional software awhile back that let the kids pace themselves. I don’t remember it going so well — kids off task, IR#1 in a freefall.

Are these questions too top-down to merit consideration? None of them demand or even deserve an answer yet. I need to read up. I plan to check out the 2020 Vision in the next two days. But for whatever it’s worth to any revolutionaries tuning in, those questions — the ones up above — are filtering everything I read.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.