We’ve previously published some of the nonsense that the USOE is pulling regarding teacher training and curriculum being produced and how heavily constructivist it is, but now here’s evidence they are actively conspiring to hide this from the public.
Internal emails that were received by GRAMA request show that Asst. Superintendent Brenda Hales had asked the people involved with the secondary math 1 book to rewrite the introduction, whitewashing it of typical constructivist terms like “inquiry.” Instead, “balanced” terminology appears verifying that this term is public code language for constructivism.
We’ve know this for years based on Alpine School District doing the same thing to lull parents to sleep over Investigations math, but now it’s internally verified. Bye, bye STEM programs. If you’re a university professor who is already crying over the poor skills freshmen enter your classes with, it’s heading downhill even faster. Read below the emails for the Mathematics Vision Project nonsense.
From the state website http://www.mathematicsvisionproject.org/ we find this gem of constructivist-based education.
Has your state, district or school chosen the Integrated or International pathway of courses?
The MVP classroom experience begins by confronting students with an engaging problem and then allows them to grapple with solving it. As students’ ideas emerge, take form, and are shared, the teacher orchestrates the student discussions and explorations towards a focused mathematical goal. As conjectures are made and explored, they evolve into mathematical concepts that the community of learners begins to embrace as effective strategies for analyzing and solving problems. These strategies eventually solidify into a body of practices that belong to the students because they were developed by the students as an outcome of their own creative and logical thinking. This is how students learn mathematics. They learn by doing mathematics. They learn by needing mathematics. They learn by verbalizing the way they see the mathematical ideas connect and by listening to how their peers perceived the problem. Students then own the mathematics because it is a collective body of knowledge that they have developed over time through guided exploration. This process describes the Learning Cycle and it informs how teaching should be conducted within the classroom.
Constructivism is essentially socialist math and they’ve written their description perfectly illustrating this. How bad could this be? Remember this “engaging problem” in groupthink about the groundhog?
If BYU’s Math Education department can’t teach HONORS calculus students with this method, it is sheer madness to think schools across the state are going to improve math education with this program. This isn’t what put Massachusetts at the top of the country for math. Homeschooling is looking better and better.
Please email your State School Board member and ask them to stop this constructivist nightmare (http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Board-Members.aspx). Then email your legislators (http://le.utah.gov/) and ask them to step in. It’s clear that the USOE isn’t concerned with what really works in the classroom and pushing this statewide is going to kill Utah’s math future.
Then talk with your local school board member and ask them to reject all materials coming from the USOE. There is no evidence that constructivism produces results.