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Well that is a novel idea and it makes so much sense! Teachers, then, are more valued as experts in the process of learning and less as holders of special knowledge within their subject area.

Bravo Stillwater for thinking critically and challenging the status quo!

I would love to see the data on the effects of this approach in this, or any other, district. Is that data available?


I'd be interested in the side effects of this. There is no reason why a student's particular math teacher would have to make the video: firms could make the videos and schools could buy them. A 9th grade math teacher would thus become no more than a tutor.

Patrick Long

I can't lie. I think this model is horrible. I'm not convinced that the content and difficulty level of the lessons aren't suffering.

If the goal is to provide kids with extra help in mathematics a teacher can always offer extra help sessions. Parents can become more responsible in offering help as well. (Have you heard of the program Kumon? When I have kids they'll be in it http://www.kumon.com/)

We need to make sure that math is taught and drilled live in a classroom so that any nuances or problems can be addressed on the spot. Furthermore, to rely on children to watch videos at home and then "work together" to solve problems is to take a huge gamble on an educational system whose math skills are already lagging alarmingly behind much of the rest of the world's. I mean, most Americans who come out of public schools are basically mathematically illiterate compared to Chinese and Indian students of a comparable socioeconomic level.

Plus, what would the next step be? To record lessons for all subjects on DVD's and then reduce all teachers to after school style tutors who hover over work groups?

Brandon Ferdig

I'm betting you've heard of the Khan Academy. If not, this guy (Khan) has been advocating for this flip-flop method for a variety of subjects and instituting the plans in L.A. Thanks for the heads up about Stillwater doing this: )

The whole idea of home video learning is reaching new levels of attainability and effectiveness with the Web. It puts the learner in more control.


I would love to see the data on the effects of this approach in this, or any other,

Hunter E

Benefit by upgrading your operating system. =)


I am in total support of such technique of teaching/education...as it is quite a smart idea! It will make studies interesting for students!


What the web doesn't offer (yet) is help understanding and synthesizing the knowledge out there. A Wikipedia entry can't sit down with a student, find out why they're struggling and ask the questions that help the student solve the problem on their own. Nor can Google provide encouragement when a student hits a wall or push an outstanding student to challenge themselves.


I think this is a wonderful idea for a math class. It may decrease or eliminate the need for tutoring. Like any idea, it might work better for some kids than others or better in certain school subjects. It is very creative, and we need to keep trying new ideas to reach students.

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