Let’s play with the elephant
I enjoyed watching the video and the animations are amazing. However, when watching it again I tried to focus on what was said instead of the animations. I have recently read Jo Boaler’s book and reread chapter 1. I would definitely recommend reading the whole book.
I found both the article and the video interesting and thought provoking. My first thoughts: this is daunting. Both video and article are about the need for change and I am still getting to grips with the system as it is? So lots to think about here. Maybe growing up in the Netherlands, gives me a different experience. Several times last week, a tutor commented on how my generation was taught maths the wrong way. Maybe the system in the Netherlands is different or maybe I just had the luck to have a brilliant teacher at secondary school. The Dutch primary system starts later with formal teaching in reading, writing and maths. There is a lot of emphasis on letting young children learn through play. Maybe we should let our big children play more too. Find out about the fun in maths. This comes back in the book too. Points I want to remember for teaching are to allow at least some time for problem solving, to encourage children to explore a problem themselves, conjecture, make guesses and discuss. A main point I agree with from book and video is the need for discussion and collaboration.
Reflecting on both items, I felt the book to have a more positive approach. Although there is criticism of the current system, the author tells us a lot about how positive changes can be made. And how you can implement these yourself as a teacher or a parent. I felt the video was very negative about the current system without offering alternatives. The analysis of our current system, the historical context and the ideas about convergent thinking are interesting. But I felt it just stopped there. There was no conclusion. Maybe that is they only way to try to revolutionize something. But for me, trying to become a teacher, not very helpful.
I disagree on the video’s sweeping general comments about ADHD. My best friend was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. The recognition, support to understand what this means and yes, the medication have helped her. She describes ADHD as having chaos in her head. Medication helps her create an order in this chaos which I, not having ADHD, have always taken for granted. It does not work as an anesthetic for her, quite the opposite. It is a lifelong disability and she is always confronted by it in how it limits her to achieve what she wants. Whether it is over diagnosed and/or overmedicated is debatable but the way this is presented in the video is insulting to those who suffer from it. The video states that the cases of ADHD have increased with standardized testing but does not give any statistical validation.