“Children can a…

“Children can and do construct their strategies, and when they are allowed to make sense of calculations in their own ways, they understand better. In the words of the mathematician Blaise Pascal, “We are usually convinced more easily by reasons we have found ourselves than by those which have occurred to others” (Fosnot, Dolk pg.102)

Loved this quote from Young Mathematicians At Work. I was reminded of a conversation we had earlier in the day, where we talked about students learning through their own exploration in science. It seems to be applicable also to math, exploring ideas on their own does not force information on to students. It encourages they to seek out new possibilities. Number sense now makes more sense than traditional algorithms.



Education is Politics

While reading Sonia Nieto’s first chapters of What Keeps Teachers Going? I have all this thoughts that are going through my head. I cannot believe how much of her own curiosities as a young teacher, I can relate to.

So far I am a little scared about what I already know is true and what I need to work on, which is collaboration. Sonia Nieteo (2003) argues that, if we want to make a difference it will have to be in “combination of personal, collective, and institutional action.” It is more than I am ready to think about at this point nonetheless it is something for me to think about.

I am also wondering about this idea that “education is politics”. She quotes Paulo Freire and say, “”education is politics!” And he added, “[T]he teacher has to ask, What kind of politics am I doing in the classroom? That is, in favor of whom am I being a teacher?”” (Nieto, 2003, pg.15). Nieto again seem like is talking about big ideas, but I wonder what is it that I must already be doing? I am curious also about what others are doing especially when I think of multicultural education.

A little about my education

A little about my education from our paper and a little encouraged from what I saw in A Year at Mission Hill and How do people learn?/ Faces of Learning.

My education has been sort of a roller coaster ride. I initially liked school when I came to the United States in the third grade. I thought it was nice that I was ahead of everyone in math (but soon fell behind again). I got to do art and to use computers for the first time; I learned how to pronounce English very well and got out of many classes. However as I got older school got harder and harder for me to deal with, I started to fall behind in everything and I began having a hard time with classmates. At some point between elementary and high school things really started to change. In high school I would just get a few nice comments and that was it, not much encouragement from home or school and teacher began to ignore me. I began to notice the difference in privileges when we were told to fill out FAFSA sign up for scholarships and to choose the colleges we wanted to go to. I had none of the requirement.

The pivotal point for me in school was a very scary and bold move I took in my sophomore year in high school. As a minority in a rural community if you do not advocate for yourself they will not do it for you. A counselor came to my English class and told us about our options our plans for the future. Scared I approach the counselor and told him that I wanted to go to college. After that everything changed for me. I felt I took control of my education. Initially before the counselor talked to me, I was placed in an English class that was made up of a couple of students (I was in the at risk category). I really hated the class I wondered about my dreams and aspirations of going to college and becoming a teacher. How would I get what I needed if I was at a completely different level than the kids I would eventually have to compete with in college? After the conversation with my adviser he changed things around and I transferred from that English class to a much harder class. I took the SAT’s and did AP Art and AP Spanish but still, I was not as smart as the rest of my classmates, my math and science were miles away from college level. Senior year, I managed to make the local news paper and to be recognized for my art work as well but why was I the only one? My parents did not have a good understanding of what school would mean for me but my educators did, so I resented that I was the only one that was Mexican to graduate in my class.