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TokyoRose View Drop Down
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Location: Chiba, Japan
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2013 at 1:09am
To be honest, looking at some of the mathematics that were taught to the 5th graders, which were based on common core, I felt that 50% of what they were teaching the students was a complete waste of time.  Teachers kept telling me that they must look really far behind compared to the students in Japan and Korea, and I simply said that wasn't the case.  We simply teach differently.  They laid out this whole, intricate way to multiply fractions--some of which would be a complete waste of time if they were to attempt teaching it using whole fractions, that even *I* was confused about what was going on.

Some of the reasons American teachers might also give for the differences is that Korean and Japanese students simply listen while the teacher lectures at them.  They criticize these societies as being ones where students memorize formulas and equations and there is little attempt to help students be creative.  Well, over the years, I have slowly begun to believe that in certain subjects like math and science, maybe we SHOULD be teaching those subjects that way.  Maybe students SHOULD sit there and keep quiet during a grammar lesson.  It is also true that students are given plenty of opportunities to solve problems, find answers, and discuss with their peers as well. 
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