Connect Issues information
- January/February, 2006
- Vol.19 Num.3, Back issues available
- Focus: Early Algebra
- This issue of Connect points to real progress in teaching and learning algebra, with articles from classroom teachers and math specialists. At the same time, we can see that there is more work to be done in order to inform and encourage teachers to explore the concepts and intricacies of algebra with their elementary and middle school students.
Writing in the New Scientist about the work of Georges Cuisenaire and others, math educator John Trivett commented that modern work in geometry and algebra has shown, . . . that all children can thrive on and create their own mathematics, acquiring powers of thought and problem-tackling which none will believe until such classes are seen at work. His article was published in December, 1959.
Forty-six years later, Connect authors point to successes and the work ahead. Concluding his article, Trivett asked, What will happen once all children are consciously and deliberately helped in school to develop the embryonic mathematical relationships which are inborn?
- March/April, 2006
- Vol.19 Num.4, Back issues available
- Focus: Diverse Learning
- When we first thought of this issue, we imagined tackling only diversity through content: How to study a group of something, such as food, resources, technologies, through a wide variety of cultures. But the articles that came to us portrayed diversity itself!
The first article about a year-long theme of rivers throughout the world exemplifies what we anticipated including in this issue. Other articles broadened our ideas to include teaching not just diverse content, but teaching the content in a diverse way (through song, through dance), to a diverse population (in socio-economic background, gender, abilities and needs), and the diversity of landscapes and cultures of others (by engendering a sense of place and studying local resources)
. In just 26 pages we travel the wider, external world while also exploring the internal assumptions and attitudes that can flavor our teaching.
- May/June, 2006
- Vol.19 Num.5, Back issues available
- Focus: Healthy Kids and Schools
- Todays generation of young people could be the first generation of Americans to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. President Bill Clinton, February, 2006
As teachers, we know that healthy kids are better off in so many ways: their physical well-being, of course, but also their ability to learn, to be creative and to be engaged in life both in school and in their communities. Families face many challenges in raising healthy children today. While schools generally do not address family patterns, there is plenty of work to do in school!
This issue explores success stories as well as challenges faced by educators working on health and wellness issues in schools and communities. There is a great deal of science involved in healthy living and there are opportunities for engaging in science and math investigations in the classroom around these topics. Connect authors in this issue reveal a multitude of ways to use science, math and technology in support of healthy kids and schools.
The idea for this issue of Connect and the research that located several of our authors and their projects is the work of Robert Finkel, who served as our guest editor. Robert Finkel, DPE, is a health educator with a special interest in cardiovascular disease. He serves as the director of the Institute for Health Behavior Research and Education. Bob can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- September/October, 2006
- Vol.20 Num.1, Back issues available
- Focus: Observation
- By listening to falling rain or the sounds of a crowd of people, by touching a rough rock or a small pebble, watching clouds build up or studying a tiny sample under a magnifier, we observe the world around us. With drawing, writing, photos and audio recordings, we can document those observations.
The basic scientific skill of observation is the focus of the first issue of Connect for this school year. The authors go beyond observation to describe next steps; what students do with their observations is critical. Do they compare, contrast, ask new questions or note changes over time? There is data to be gathered and more research to be done, whether by first graders or experienced middle schoolers. Science, math and technology come together to help us observe and record as well as to challenge students to be problem solvers and to inquire further.
- November/December, 2006
- Vol.20 Num.2, Back issues available
- Focus: Systems
- Understanding systems is crucial to fields of science, math, and technology. Thinking in terms of systems also breaks down traditional barriers between subjects and opens up new ways to approach learning.
The National Science Education Standards define a system as, "...[A]n organized group of related objects or components that form a whole. Systems can consist, for example, of organisms, machines, fundamental particles, galaxies, ideas, numbers, transportation and education. Systems have boundaries, components, resources flow (input and output) and feedback." (National Research Council, 1996)
The use of systems as an organizing and thinking tool has greatly expanded because of the work of Professor Jay Forrester at MIT. He largely developed the modern field of system dynamics and has applied this thinking to education as well. His work is apparent in the article in this issue on woolly mammoth populations.
Forrester believes that, "System dynamics offers a framework for giving cohesion, meaning and motivation to education at all levels from kindergarten upward." He writes that students working with system dynamics, "...have the opportunity to explore, gather information, and create unity out of their educational experiences. Such synthesis can be based on facts that even elementary students already have gleaned from life." (Forrester, 1992)
The articles in this issue bring varied examples from classrooms that may provoke your own thinking about systems in teaching and learning.