Essay 4

Posted by James on Jan 3, 2016

This video has raised a lot of very interesting points. My first comment would be that it is very easy to criticise something, but much harder to fix it.      Michael Pershan states many problems about Kahn academy and how to improve it, my question to this is why then does he not make a better one. However this does not diminish any of his points as to how or why it could improve.

One of Michael Pershans problems with Kahn academy was that it was presented in a way that was similar to the current style of teaching in the US. However if Kahn academy had made there videos similar to the Japanese lessons that were shown in Preshans video, then I personally feel that the students would not engage with the video as well. This is because the US students haven’t been taught in the same way as the Japanese students therefore they would struggle with the kind of problem solving and open ended questions that the Japanese students receive.

I feel that what Michael Pershan said about how maths in the USA and in part the UK is spoon fed to pupils is true. We give an example to pupils and ask them to complete 15 questions that relate to that example. We do not teach pupils to be problem solvers, this means that when they have to face something that they have not seen before they give up. They do not have the patience or knowledge to find an answer.

While I agree with some of the points in the video and disagree with others, I think that Kahn academy is still fantastic tool for the current curriculum and for both students and teachers. As it allows students to access more easily the information that they are being taught and for teachers to analyse what went well and the parts that they need to improve on within their current teaching. However I believe that when/if the current curriculum changes we should try to change the way in which we teach maths and then the changes that Pershan suggested would be beneficial.

In relation to Inquiry teaching with the current curriculum tying teachers hands it is very hard to have a productive and successful inquiry lesson with the fear of not completing all the prescribed material in time.

Also Ofsted are looking for teachers to plan lessons that support the students to progress which can be evidenced throughout every individual lesson. With an inquiry based learning programme it is hard to measure progress in the same way in the short term.

Equally in a school with behaviour problems it is exceedingly difficult to use inquiry lessons as the students often do not stay on task, they have never done it and therefore will say that they can’t and will not try. Equally the pupils due to a variety of individual needs may also have problems with basic maths which would make an inquiry lesson almost impossible to deliver.

 

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