Wednesday, January 11, 2012

we'll file this under "How Not to Teach"

As soon as I saw the Drudge headline, I knew this had to have taken place in the South:

3rd-Grade Math Homework Uses Slaves Picking Oranges, Number of Slave Beatings to Teach Multiplication

The first [math homework question] asked, “Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?” The other said, “If Frederick [Douglass] got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”

Upon learning of the assignment, the school’s principal collected the assignment sheets that were still at school.

“We’ve been working with human resources to determine what staff development is needed for the teachers and what actions may be warranted,” Roach said. “The principal is addressing parent concerns as he’s meeting with them.”

Parent concerns? Yeah-- no shit.



Jason said...

I really do like the idea of cross-curricular activities, but at what point does someone not look at the questions and realize that they were inappropriate? Also, the test was used by 9 teachers. I wonder if they even read the questions before handing them out.
As usual for articles like this, the dregs of society come out in the comments section on the CBS article.

Elisson said...

Right here in the greater Atlanta area, as a matter of fact.

A world-class fuckup, trying to do a cross-curricular activity but with absolutely no context... and precious little sensitivity on the part of the people who wrote the questions.

If you want to teach kids about American history and the days of slavery - essential knowledge, IMNSHO - do it in a social studies class. Throwing this stuff in in the form of random math questions? Yeef.

Charles said...

"Staff development" here means "beating with a baseball bat."