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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Merging the old with the new in teaching styles!

Merging the old with the new in teaching styles!

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I'm at a private school that is full of great people but kind of a sleepy curriculum. 40% of the teachers are very experienced and very stuck in their ways. We are looking at changing our math curriculum which is heavy worksheets and very light on manipulatives. I've done research on best practices and brought out my textbooks about math instruction, all of them support the need to teach math hands on. Without making the tenured teachers think that I am trying to cause a revolution, how can I politely express concern?

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Paula Lee Bright's picture
Paula Lee Bright
Online reading teacher. Work w/kids who fell through the cracks-Skype

The first way to make inroads with firmly established teachers is to implement your ideas in your own classes. Have you been able to work in manipulatives yet, or are they "off limits" because they're not in your curriculum?

I'll keep an eye out for your reply. :)

Paul Bogdan's picture
Paul Bogdan
Student-Centered Secondary Math Teacher
Blogger

The best way to start something new is in your own class. One more very important thing: Keep the fact that it is new and/or different top secret. As a matter of fact, lie like a rug and insist that it is the same old thing. I found out the hard way that bragging about it being better, and new, and different is vanity and will get your butt in the fire from parents, students, etc.

Student-Centered is very much hands-on. Check out my blog.

Ryan Reed's picture
Ryan Reed
7/8th Grade Social Studies Teacher in Maine

Clearly the key here is to not step on any toes, and let your teaching do the talking. Work it into your classroom, and as it becomes successful and the students enjoy it you will see it slowly spread through the school. Sadly, change in American education tends to be glacial in pace.

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