Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Today's theme 

Is GAP analysis. Why "GAP" is typed in all caps is indeterminate, but it appears to be done consistently. What it seems to mean is the performance gap between where our students are and where they should be. Somewhat contrary to yesterday's good news, perhaps we're not doing so well after all. It seems that we match up well to similar schools, but ultimately the similar schools all suck.

So from my somewhat naïve perspective, my view of this is, you find out what skills your students are lacking, and teach them those skills. You don't complain that students don't like to think, or don't have this or don't have that, you teach. Isn't that what our job description says?

Then there's analyzing the data. For Geometry, we're consistently below the state level for logic and proof. For surface area and volume we see a one-time drop below the state standard level of 14% which sounds really bad until you look at this in terms of the number of items in this category (11) and realize that we're really talking about a 1.5 question difference. One more question correct and our students would be meeting the state level.

And which one do the geometry teachers want to tackle? Surface area and volume. Actually, I made some headroom into this by pointing out the above, so there's hope.

And I finally got a teacher's edition (or, for that matter, any edition) of the geometry text. So now I can start working on my own semester plan for the class.

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