[ExI] google classroom, was: RE: Meta question

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 21 14:28:34 UTC 2016

 I found a book on folkloric superstitions in school, and learned a
surprising amount of geography, history and biology by following up on it

The important issue is how well such classrooms can teach how to link the

Please share the name of that book.

This continuum of sorts served my purposes well:  physics, chemistry,
biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology.   I started with this, noted
the overlaps, biochemistry, social psych, etc., and referred to them
throughout the semester, though mostly as added material to the text, and
usually as untested material.

I did a fair amount of untested presentations.  What that did was to make
them put down their pencils and listen to me take them further than the
text.  I regarded these additives as times for me to really create and make
the material interesting.  So maybe a fourth of the content or more of my
classes was untested by design and constituted what was, to me, the most
important part of the class.  This was a 101 setting.  For upper level they
had to link material on tests, essays, and other papers with examples not
in the book or my presentations.

What a lot of my students told me later in life was that my wanderings were
the most memorable parts of my classes.  I told a lot of stories - some
invented.  To my mind there is nothing like a good story to make points and
to be easy to remember.  Now maybe it can backfire on you:  one student in
his 30s told me that the only thing he remembered about my class was that
if you ate 14 hamburgers the last would not taste as good as the first.
That's another point;  the weirder you get the better the memory.

I have no idea how any of this relates to teaching hard science and math,
but I"ll bet you do.

bill w

On Sun, Aug 21, 2016 at 12:41 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> >... On Behalf Of Anders
> Subject: Re: [ExI] google classroom, was: RE: Meta question
> On 2016-08-20 15:00, spike wrote:
> > ...School is often a hindrance for education...
> > --Dr Anders Sandberg
> >
> >>... The best part of this curriculum is that it appears to be completely
> open-ended...
> >...Now that is promising!
> Ja!  Read on please.
> >>... It will be fun to watch what this cohort will achieve.
> >...Yup. Cognitive enhancement doesn't have to be biomedical.-- Dr Anders
> Sandberg
> Thanks for that, sir!
> Anders and BillW, there is a reason why I suggested that thought experiment
> where I proposed estimating the number of hours a typical or high end
> student would invest in studying math by the traditional means.  Here are
> my
> estimates:
> A student typically is in math instruction about half an hour to perhaps
> 3/4
> of an hour a day on the average in traditional school.  We have 180 school
> days a year, so close enough to 100 to 130 hours of instruction per year,
> but if a student reaches for the high end of the achievement spectrum, to
> finish a year of calculus by high school, requires doubling up with two
> math
> classes, and it requires significant amounts time invested in homework.
> (Did anyone here finish calculus without doing a pile of homework?  Didn't
> think so.)
> By that line of reasoning, the time investment would likely go well above
> the estimated 1200 to 1500 hours for that level of mastery.  Once I take
> the
> doubling up and the homework into account I would be hard pressed to get
> any
> estimate less than about 2000 hours of study devoted to math-related
> disciplines to complete a year of calculus.
> Does 2000 hours seem like a reasonable estimate for about an 90th
> percentile
> student reaching for completing a year of the queen of mathematics?  I will
> buy it, and would be more comfortable guessing higher than 2k rather than
> estimating lower.  Anders?
> A discrete skill as defined by Sal Khan is one which can be explained in
> ten
> minutes or less and mastered in less than an hour of practice and
> assessment.  Four examples of a skill might be Cramer's rule, evaluating
> determinants, partial fraction decomposition, equation of a line given a
> point and a slope.  In Khan Academy, to get from start to end of
> differential calculus requires mastery of a number of skills.  That number
> is...  1040.
> I measured the time required to master discrete skills with my own student
> and came away with an answer of about 40 minutes.  So... this is a case
> where a first grader started the program and mastered the 1040 skills in
> about 700 hours.
> So here is the insight on why I am grinding away on this and really driving
> hard with this question.  Compare a curriculum is designed by one person
> from start to finish to a curriculum designed by a committee of individual
> egos who do not talk to each other, a committee with no cohesive overall
> vision or structure, a committee whose goal is to sell copies of their own
> books.  The single-designer curriculum will be more efficient than the
> design-by-fractured-committee curriculum by about a factor of 3.  This
> could
> enable a student to master a level of proficiency in about four years
> rather
> than the more traditional twelve years.
> I can show you an example of student who has done in four what most
> students
> do in twelve.
> Anders, your thoughts please?  BillW, your thoughts please?
> In the next episode... the impact of high efficiency instruction allowing
> students to master the higher levels of study earlier in life.
> spike
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