Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Gaps in My Education-Math

Like most people I have gaps in my education, and like most people I can’t hit them all at once. But I am feeling the need to hit some of my gaps hard. One of these areas is math. Formally, I made it through trigonometry. I also took a math class in my teacher prep program. This was one of the few classes that I found relevant and interesting. The text book went through many math concepts and showed how to teach them in a project based way. We were assigned to read about half of this book, but it is the one book that I read the whole thing anyway. I did my internship for this class at a Montessori school and learned about some wonderful new ideas to teach math. I got to teach a lesson on fractions at this school where as I told a story we cut green circles into different sections and then in the end we had enough pieces to make a Christmas tree. When I student-taught in a traditional classroom, I got to teach math from the approved California textbook in the traditional, introduce concept on projector, kids copy you, kids try it and you correct them and then they do it on their own, now move on, lots of concepts covered (I daren’t say learned), but no depth. I don’t particularly like the last way, but it is easier for teachers who aren’t with students long or who don’t own the knowledge themselves.

Frankly, I want to own it. So here I go. I’m ready to fill a gap. I now need a plan. I want a historical overview of the discovery of math principles, I want an overview of how it is taught the Montessori way, and the Waldorf way. Let’s see I need a video of an excited teacher talking about these concepts, I wonder what Great Courses has-I love everything I’ve watched or listened to from them (we just listened to the history of World War II on our trip to Utah). I need to tackle Euclid. I have touched on Plato’s thoughts in other subjects in earlier studies, and I look forward to going into more depth on his geometry thoughts. I have “Flatland,” and “Mathematics: Is God Silent?” so I will probably hit those too.

When I nursed my first baby I read every one of Jane Austen’s novels. When I nurse this one I hope to get math a little more. As Blanchard and Johnson of “One Minute Manager,” point out I’m in the phase of high energy and low direction. Perhaps, I can find a mentor before the low energy phase hits…. Mentoring, there is another gap, and the importance of handwork to the development of the whole individual, and color theory, and sewing, and knitting, and the amendments, aaahhh lots of gaps- I think I’ll hit math next.

No comments: