I have so many different thoughts rambling through my head constantly about a class I’m taking at Auburn University (Issues and Trends in Mathematics Educaiton) and how it will influence me as an educator. Will all of this knowledge make me the Gingrich of math education? Is there nothing new under the sun? How can we learn from past mistakes? Is the decline of American education related to reform practices or just correlated?
I’ve heard to be careful what you read or watch, as it will certainly impact your thoughts. (Been reading John Dewey and The Decline of American Education) I’ve read a study that says we believe everything we read or see until we have time to judge its truthfulness or how it may contradict we already hold as true. There are so many different views of almost any topic or situation. Philosophy and qualitative studies I wouldn’t say is my forte, but it is becoming increasingly interesting. I’m really having to wrap my thoughts around different arguments and find out what parts are truth and what parts are noise from people just wanting to be heard.
What is truth? How do we prove causation? Qualitative and quantitative research, I believe, should be mixed not disjoint. So many people in the world do not mix these together. An example by Obama wanting to lengthen drop out ages in all states to 18 does not address the real issue at hand and is based purely on quantitative studies. AL state senator, Shadrack Mcgill, says that increasing teachers pay will not increase the quality of teachers because teachers who teach will work for any amount of money, because they are called to teach according to the bible (Click Here for Article). Old Shadrack seems to be basing his vote purely on qualitative studies.
How do we mix these two types of research? This is essential if we want to show causation!