A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
For one year, 365 days, this blog will address the Common Core Standards from the perspective of creating an alternate, ambient learning environment for math. Ambient is defined as “existing or present on all sides, an all-encompassing atmosphere.” And ambient music is defined as: “Quiet and relaxing with melodies that repeat many times.Why ambient? A math teaching style that’s whole and all encompassing, with themes that repeat many times through the years, is most likely to be effective and successful.
Today’s post will follow up on the Common Core thread with a link to one of Diane Ravitch’s blogs. This was posted back in January of this year, but is still current and relevant. In it she says, “When I see a child or youth do something joyfully, I can’t help but think . . . that the scores reflect the ability to answer test questions and don’t address the inner core of the human being. Yet our current obsession with data has led us to crush the spirits of our children, to make sure that budding Mozarts and Einsteins and those who dream instead of conforming are pressed into the same narrow mold.”
Entitled “21st Century Child Abuse,” this blog post prompts strong reactions from readers, some questioning whether pedagogical cruelty can be equated with horrific, physical child abuse. These comments spark an intense discussion, with some valid points on both sides. She also includes a New York State parent’s letter lamenting childhood’s losses, taken over by testing and crushing day to day school schedules plus mountains of homework, precluding play and real “home” work, chores and the like, that constitute real life preparation. Ms. Ravitch expresses the hope that Governor Cuomo may read the letter. Here’s the link:
Knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of that knowledge as a worthy goal. Look for some helpful, Waldorf-oriented posts in the next few days as a farewell to Grade 1.