Educ- Knowing vs Doing LO6974

Barry Mallis (
25 Apr 1996 08:17:31 -0400

Reply to: RE>Educ: Knowing vs Doing LO6949

In a step toward active learning mentioned by Keith, I proposed to a
county Business Education Partnership group yesterday the following pilot

Before the end of this school year, our group will speak with high school
math teachers from two regional school districts represented in our
Partnership. We propose the following:

1) Obtain from the teachers a list of the math courses' unit topics (e.g.
decimals, complementary angles, functions, division, etc.)

2) With the list in hand, return to our workplaces and request employee
volunteers who in their daily work might use a particular unit's content;
compile a list of these volunteers

3) Return the list to teachers at all participating schools. Ask the
teachers to contact the volunteers directly

4) At the very beginning of each unit, a contacted volunteer (who may
certainly be a parent, too!--and taxpayer, and wage earner in the real
world, and on and on) contacted by the classroom teacher speaks with the
class members about how the material about to be studied is applied
directly to tasks, promoting completion, achievement, satisfaction,
curiosity and other feelings in the employee.

The goal of this kind of half-way pilot program is to bring home to math
students the fact that math skills (including the extremely fundamental
ideas of analytical thinking and problem solving sometimes lacking in high
school students) are alive and well and actually work for lots of people
doing real things that generate revenue and income.

I'm hoping this idea takes root through our pilot, and that it can be
extended to other realms of classroom study. I've chosen math at the
outset, because it's so important, visible and public a concern
everywhere--for good reason.

While this isn't exactly active learning which I also desire, it may be a
step in one right direction.

Your comments are appreciated as our local Business Education Partnership
begin to flesh out locally this "talking heads from the real world" pilot
program for math.

Best regards,

Barry Mallis

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