Education in the United States


Education






#1 The latest ranking of top countries in math, reading, and science is out

the US didn't crack the top 10
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of its 2015 global rankings on student performance in mathematics, reading, and science, on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA.
The PISA is a worldwide exam administered every three years that measures 15-year-olds in 72 countries. About 540,000 students took the exam in 2015.
The US saw an 11-point drop in average score for math, while remaining relatively flat in reading and science.

The results again raise questions about the global competitiveness of the US educational system.
On a press call on Tuesday, Jon Schnur, executive chairman of America Achieves, said we need to make dramatic progress in showing educational improvement for students.
When looking at a comparable sample of countries that participated in the PISA exam in both 2012 (the last time the test was administered) and 2015, the US ranking fell to 35th from 28th in math. The US underperformed the OECD average in math.
Scores were relatively unchanged in reading and science compared to 2012 — down one point in each. The US performed better than the OECD average in both subjects.
Asian countries again topped the rankings across all subjects, and Singapore was the top performing country across all three subjects.



#2 Math courses with “Math Is Your Future”

Online education has become an effective alternative to classroom learning. Learning online offers many advantages, like reduced cost, the convenience of studying from any place and time, and without strangers coming to your home. Statistics show that online college math courses as well as school level math classes have proven to be enormously effective in learning mathematics. Here are some reasons why:
1.                 Increased interaction with teacher improves student focus: A large number of students report that learning college math online in a one-on- one setting helps the student concentrate and stay engaged on the subject, resulting in improved academic results.
2.             Personalized learning and individual approach: Everyone’s learning patterns are different. In a typical school setting it is difficult for a teacher, teaching several classes each with 20-40 students, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the progres level of each student. It is even harder for a classroom teacher to devote the necessary time to help students who are lagging behind. MathIsYourFuture’s personalized approach allows us to quickly assess a student’s math learning ability to accommodate their individual learning needs. Our online math classes cover grade school to college level math and our teachers all have a deep understanding and passion toward mathematics.
3.              Our technologically modern approach encourages students to think outside the box: MathIsYourFuture’s technologically modern approach to learning helps students to internalize and comprehend math concepts, as opposed to just memorization. The software we use to conduct our online classes brings new life into the conventional boring methods to learn college math online through using effective visualizations and one-on- one interaction.



#3 What the world can learn from the latest PISA test results

Reforming education is slow and hard, but eminently possible
FOOTBALL fans must wait four years between World Cups. Education nerds get their fill of global competition every three. The sixth Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test of the science, maths and reading skills of 15-year-olds from across the world, was published by the OECD club of mainly rich countries on December 6th. Its results have telling lessons for policymakers worldwide.
Some 540,000 pupils in 72 countries or regions—each of whom had finished at least six years of school—sat similar tests last year. The OECD then crunched the results into a standardised scale (see chart 1). In the OECD the average result for each subject is about 490 points. Scoring 30 points above that is roughly akin to completing an extra year of schooling.



#4 Why Math Education in the U.S. Doesn't Add Up

Research shows that an emphasis on memorization, rote procedures and speed impairs learning and achievement

In December the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) will announce the latest results from the tests it administers every three years to hundreds of thousands of 15-year-olds around the world. In the last round, the U.S. posted average scores in reading and science but performed well below other developed nations in math, ranking 36 out of 65 countries.
We do not expect this year's results to be much different. Our nation's scores have been consistently lackluster. Fortunately, though, the 2012 exam collected a unique set of data on how the world's students think about math. The insights from that study, combined with important new findings in brain science, reveal a clear strategy to help the U.S. catch up.
The PISA 2012 assessment questioned not only students' knowledge of mathematics but also their approach to the subject, and their responses reflected three distinct learning styles. Some students relied predominantly on memorization. They indicated that they grasp new topics in math by repeating problems over and over and trying to learn methods “by heart.” Other students tackled new concepts more thoughtfully, saying they tried to relate them to those they already had mastered. A third group followed a so-called self-monitoring approach: they routinely evaluated their own understanding and focused their attention on concepts they had not yet learned.
In every country, the memorizers turned out to be the lowest achievers, and countries with high numbers of them—the U.S. was in the top third—also had the highest proportion of teens doing poorly on the PISA math assessment. Further analysis showed that memorizers were approximately half a year behind students who used relational and self-monitoring strategies. In no country were memorizers in the highest-achieving group, and in some high-achieving economies, the differences between memorizers and other students were substantial. In France and Japan, for example, pupils who combined self-monitoring and relational strategies outscored students using memorization by more than a year's worth of schooling.
The U.S. actually had more memorizers than South Korea, long thought to be the paradigm of rote learning. Why? Because American schools routinely present mathematics procedurally, as sets of steps to memorize and apply. Many teachers, faced with long lists of content to cover to satisfy state and federal requirements, worry that students do not have enough time to explore math topics in depth. Others simply teach as they were taught. And few have the opportunity to stay current with what research shows about how kids learn math best: as an open, conceptual, inquiry-based subject.
To help change that, we launched a new center at Stanford University in 2014, called Youcubed. Our central mission is to communicate evidence-based practices to teachers, other education professionals, parents and students. To that end, we have devised recommendations that take into consideration how our brains grapple with abstract mathematical concepts. We offer engaging lessons and tasks, along with a wide range of advice, including the importance of encouraging what is known as a growth mindset—offering messages such as “mistakes grow your brain” and “I believe you can learn anything.”
The foundation all math students need is number sense—essentially a feel for numbers, with the agility to use them flexibly and creatively (watch a video explaining number sense here:
A child with number sense might tackle 19 × 9 by first working with “friendlier numbers”—say, 20 × 9—and then subtracting 9. Students without number sense could arrive at the answer only by using an algorithm. To build number sense, students need the opportunity to approach numbers in different ways, to see and use numbers visually, and to play around with different strategies for combining them. Unfortunately, most elementary classrooms ask students to memorize times tables and other number facts, often under time pressure, which research shows can seed math anxiety. It can actually hinder the development of number sense.
In 2005 psychologist Margarete Delazer of Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria and her colleagues took functional MRI scans of students learning math facts in two ways: some were encouraged to memorize and others to work those facts out, considering various strategies. The scans revealed that these two approaches involved completely different brain pathways. The study also found that the subjects who did not memorize learned their math facts more securely and were more adept at applying them. Memorizing some mathematics is useful, but the researchers' conclusions were clear: an automatic command of times tables or other facts should be reached through “understanding of the underlying numerical relations.”

Education in the United States Education in the United States Reviewed by bsm on December 28, 2019 Rating: 5

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