• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

In a recent (January 30th, 2012) New Yorker article on “Groupthink,” author Jonah Lehrer observes the following: The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks. Lehrer's statement, grounded in decades of research in social psychology, is that the most constructive form of collaboration is one in which a diverse group of people, i.e., those from different discipline areas and backgrounds, engage in “the vigorous exchange of clashing perspectives.” Educators who have participated in effective PLCs have learned that some degree of conflict between group members is not only healthy but, in many cases, necessary to move the group forward. However, when strongly-opinionated individuals are unwilling to even consider differing perspectives, progress is unlikely. Perhaps ...

A Math Wars Truce: Mastery of Knowledge and Mastery of Problem Solving
A math wars truce: Mastery of knowledge and mastery of problem solving

Note: While this chapter discusses issues in approaches to teaching mathematics, similar disagreements exist in all curricular areas. For example, the “reading wars” juxtaposed phonics instruction with “whole language” instruction. Teachers of history grapple with how much content (names, events, dates, and known motivations or reasoning) students need to master and the historian's work of understanding contexts, interwoven causes and forces, and other aspects of the study of history. While chapter reflection exercises apply polarity thinking to all content areas, I chose to concentrate on mathematics because of how “math anxiety” increases polarization on this issue. Math anxiety is just about ...

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