[Assessment 1465] Re: New way to teach math

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Martha Nega mnega1 at student.gsu.edu
Mon Nov 17 11:19:12 EST 2008

Thanks for sharing the research articles. As an math teacher to adults I find it very useful.
Although, it is not directly applicable, the issues are similar to problems we have in developmental level math classes. for example, I also teach Long Division in my classrooms.
After several years of not attending formal education, adults students are placed in specific courses after taking an assessment when they are still proficient in one area and significantly lacking in another. This allows for the average of the assessment to be high enough to be placed into a specific course. as a result, students struggle in class to catch up on ideas that are based on the things they did not understand coming into the classroom. The idea of Proximal Assessment for Learner Diagnosis (PALD) may be implemented for specific domains of math skills to gear the instruction to the needs of the student. This allows the instructor to identify the deficiencies and address them.


From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Marie Cora [marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 1:05 PM
To: 'The Assessment Discussion List'
Subject: [Assessment 1442] New way to teach math

Hi everyone,

It’s been quiet on the List lately! I’m sure everyone is quite busy; I have been busy working on organizing some of the discussions that subscribers suggested to me in September. I hope to have an announcement for you all soon on topics that I’ve been able to put together for the List.

In the meantime, I came across this information below and thought I would put it out there for subscribers to read, think about, and respond to. These studies are focused on grade-school age children; however, I found some of the discussion very interesting and thought some of it might be appropriate for working with adults.

So! Do you find that either of these resources could be applicable to adult literacy education? All of either report? Some of either?

Are you familiar with similar efforts that are focused on adults and if so, could you please share this information with us here?

If you feel that this is not informative for adult educators in any way, can you say why?

And finally, do folks have methods or processes they use to diagnose gaps in math skills/abilities with the adults they work with? If so, can you share what you do with us here?



Two new studies from Teachers College, Columbia University, examined teacher practices and early outcomes of a dynamic classroom assessment approach known as Proximal Assessment for Learner Diagnosis (PALD). The reports find that sixth graders who were taught by PALD scored significantly higher on standardized math tests than peers who weren't exposed to the method. In addition, fifth graders who participated in the program outperformed their peers in geometry. The method requires teachers to break down math problem solving -- or any academic task they want students to learn -- into a set of connected skills and concepts. Then the teacher assesses student performance at each step to understand precisely where students make errors or show lack of understanding.

Marie Cora, Moderator
Assessment Discussion List
National Institute for Literacy
Email me at: marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com<mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>
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Coordinator of Assessment
Program Planning Resource Collection
National Institute for Literacy
Visit at: http://www.nifl.gov/lincs/resourcecollections/resource_collections.html

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