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*From*: "John Clement" <clement@hal-pc.org>*Date*: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 13:40:52 -0500

Unfortunately the people who make the mandates do not have a clue as to the

appropriateness of the mandate, or how to test students before they go into

algebra. They have bought into the idea that noodling students will get

better results. In geese it results in spoiled livers. While this delights

the gourmets, it does not enhance the survival fitness of the geese.

Actually the students need to first learn how to do problems without

algebra. Most word problems can be done without any higher math other than

proportional reasoning and conservation reasoning. The big problem is that

they have no clue as to what a variable is. This is where Thinking Science

comes in. It first gets them to construct the idea of a variable, and then

has them use it using proportional reasoning. Finally at the end 60 weeks

later it has them generate formal models. But this is done without algebra.

There is evidence that up to 85% of adults can test at the formal

operational level after an intervention. This is mentioned in Arons book

where it is done with elementary school teachers.

Now if you want a testing program, look at Feuerstein's writings. He has a

program that tests, and then a program that intervenes. Since he has raised

measured IQ values 30% or more, his work can serve as a good paradigm.

John M. Clement

Houston, TX

I don't understand why the state doesn't mandate a screening process to

properly place students. Then hopefully the coursework could be used to

pull students from concrete operational to formal operational. I know

this still leaves room for a bad screening mechanism and does not have the

currently favored 'high stakes test' directly attached, but it seems more

appropriate to a larger number of students.

My second choice - Non-Euclidian Geometry for all 8th graders. Why not

think outside the 4 straight lined congruently right angled box? I mean

if we are really gonna push them...

**References**:**[Phys-l] Ca mandates 8th-grade algebra test***From:*Bernard Cleyet <bernardcleyet@redshift.com>

**[Phys-l] Ca mandates 8th-grade algebra test***From:*Robert Yeend <ryeend@sbcglobal.net>

**Re: [Phys-l] Ca mandates 8th-grade algebra test***From:*"Wes Davis" <wlrdavis@earthlink.net>

**Re: [Phys-l] Ca mandates 8th-grade algebra test***From:*"Shapiro, Mark" <mshapiro@Exchange.FULLERTON.EDU>

**Re: [Phys-l] Ca mandates 8th-grade algebra test***From:*"John Clement" <clement@hal-pc.org>

**Re: [Phys-l] Ca mandates 8th-grade algebra test***From:*"Shapiro, Mark" <mshapiro@Exchange.FULLERTON.EDU>

**Re: [Phys-l] Ca mandates 8th-grade algebra test***From:*"Paul Lulai" <plulai@stanthony.k12.mn.us>

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