December 9, 2008
For immediate release
Professor Julian Weissglass of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School delivered the keynote lecture “The Struggle to Respect Children’s Thinking” at the California Mathematics Council Northern Section Annual Conference at Monterey on December 5. Weissglass described both his personal struggle in coming to understand the importance of children’s thinking and the nation’s struggle in that area with particular attention to respecting children’s mathematical thinking. He offered some perspectives for how it could be possible to increase our schools’ capacity to respect children’s mathematical thinking. He referred to the fact that some studies have found that forty to sixty percent of high school students are chronically disengaged from school and claim to be bored and identified the lack of respect for students’ thinking as a possible cause. What policy makers don’t understand is that the emphasis on memorization, practicing standard algorithms, test preparation, and testing is disrespectful of young people and is a major cause of disengagement. Weissglass also described some strategies teachers can use to make schools more engaging for young people.
Julian Weissglass formally joined the Gevirtz School’s Department of Education in 2001, though his educational interests and collaborative activities with the Department have been on-going for many years. He is a member of the Teaching and Learning as well as Educational Leadership and Organizations emphases and directs the National Coalition for Equity in Education.
The California Mathematics Council believes that all students have the capacity to become mathematically competent and confident when provided a rigorous and challenging mathematical program supported by high expectations. The California Mathematics Council is committed to: promoting professional activities that will ensure continual improvement towards excellence in the teaching of mathematics; communicating with educators, parents, the public, and legislative bodies concerning issues related to teaching rigorous, challenging mathematics; and increasing the diversity of the membership of the California Mathematics Council and the diversity of leadership in mathematics education at the local, state, and national levels.
[Julian Weissglass is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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