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The researchers came up with a name to describe Japanese teaching.
But it takes just 40 seconds for the teacher to interrupt the class to say, “OK, you want some prompting on this one?
” He goes to the board to demonstrate a procedure, and in the process gives the class the answers to three of the problems. Then students work, on their own, for close to fifteen minutes. ” In Japan, the researchers noticed, it was typical for students to struggle with a task before the teacher intervened.
*** In 1993, a group of researchers set out to do something that had never been done before.
They would hire a videographer to travel across the United States and record a random sample of eighth-grade math classes.
Students would then be asked to memorize the definitions and practice the procedures.
It was a bit of a lather, rinse, repeat approach, and the actual math students were asked to do was not very advanced.
And what was perhaps more remarkable is that teaching within each country looked pretty much the same.
In other words, most eighth-grade math teachers in the United States were teaching math pretty much the same way.
A typical class might begin with the teacher giving students a word problem, like in the video above.
The students come up with as many ways as they can to solve the problem.