Sunday, August 1, 2010

A joyful conspiracy

Uri Treisman's Joyful Conspiracy from CarnegieViews on Vimeo.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is organizing a “joyful conspiracy” to help community colleges provide pathways to success for students who initially are placed in developmental mathematics courses.  The Statway will bring non-STEM students from the level of elementary algebra up to and through a transfer-level statistics course in one year.

The Statway 2010 Summer Institute brought teams from 19 community college campuses to the Stanford University campus July 25-30 to meet, share with, and learn from each other and from Carnegie Foundation leaders and consultants.  

We practiced the protocol for presenting, critiquing, and giving feedback on the lessons we will be piloting in the coming year.  Each lesson will involve students working on a rich task with clearly defined learning goals.  A key assumption of Statway is that statistics can provide a context for students to learn to think and reason quantitatively.  The necessary algebraic skills will be embedded within the lesson, rather than holding center stage.

Another core part of the instructional experience is that having students struggle with problems is desirable.  This student engagement, even when students do not discover or invent the necessary mathematics on their own, can be crucial to preparing the students for making sense of the central topic of the lesson.

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