Simon Baron-Cohen’s Extreme Male Brain theory proposes that autistic people have an amplification of cognitive features considered typical of males. Associated with this conjecture about cognitive behavior are conjectures about brain anatomy, i.e., that brain regions which differ, on average, between the males and females whose brains have been studied, will also differ between autistic and non-autistic people.
Comments on Goodman’s “Comparison of Proposed US Common Core Math to Standards of Selected Asian Countries”
Summary. In July of 2010, Jonathan Goodman published a comparison of Common Core State Standards with curriculum documents from several Asian countries (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan). In my opinion, his analysis has some serious flaws. In this post, I give some examples. In an earlier post, I have given a brief overview of differences in national context, noting the different uses of standards and other documents in the U.S. and elsewhere. These different contexts and uses suggest how a U.S. reader’s expectations may lead to misinterpretation of documents from outside the U.S. In this post, I compare some of Goodman’s statements with the content of these documents in two ways: comments and detailed side-by-side comparisons. Read the rest of this entry »
Summary. In 2010 (apparently in June), Jim Milgram posted a review of the Common Core State Standards, comparing them with standards of high-achieving countries. In my opinion, his review misses some important details and makes some incorrect conclusions. In this post, I give some examples. In an earlier post, I have given a brief overview of differences in national context, noting the different uses of standards and other documents in the U.S. and elsewhere. These different contexts and uses suggest how a U.S. reader’s expectations may lead to misinterpretation of documents from outside the U.S. In this post, I discuss some assertions in the review and give some detailed side-by-side comparisons of comments with standards, teacher’s guides, and other documents. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past decade, comparisons of U.S. standards for mathematics have been made with “standards” from other countries, e.g., national curriculum standards, syllabuses, or courses of study. Some of these comparisons overlook important details, resulting in conclusions whose accuracy could be improved considerably without much additional effort. This post gives a brief overview of two differences in national context that affect interpretation of documents from other countries, in particular, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. (Further details are in an appendix at the end of this post.) The two posts that follow (here and here) discuss comparisons that have been made by (respectively) the mathematicians James Milgram and Jonathan Goodman. Read the rest of this entry »
“Parental and family leave for graduate students and post docs: Policies and experiences” was a panel at the January 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego. Some references are:
My slides from the panel.
A comprehensive and succinct report: A Forgotten Class of Scientists: Examining the Parental and Family Benefits Available to Research Trainees.
The web site of the National Postdoctoral Association which has “Family-Friendly Resources for Postdocs.”
Some characterize the situation for women in STEM as “underrepresentation of women in mathematically-intensive fields.” In the case of baccalaureates at least, the situation might be more accurately described in terms of salaries—unless you believe that engineering and computer science are more “mathematically-intensive” than mathematics. Read the rest of this entry »
This post makes a few comments on “A Close Examination of Jo Boaler’s Railside Report” by Bishop, Milgram, and Clopton (hereafter Bishop et al.), comparing its account with that of two articles written by Boaler and Staples: a 2005 conference paper and a 2008 journal article.
Disclosure: I am not and have never been a friend or collaborator of any author listed above. On the other hand, the math education world is small. I work on projects and communicate regularly with people who are or have been friends or collaborators of Boaler or Milgram.
No one that I know condones the actions of Bishop et al. in attempting to determine the identities of the schools in Boaler’s studies. (September 2013 update: Two people have contacted me to say that they do. They note the rationale given by Milgram in Brain-Mind Magazine (with response from Boaler in the same issue), Nonpartisan Educational Review, and on his web site.) However, at first glance, it is hard to determine what the two sides are claiming and its basis. Some claims are not connected with details of the study, the details are complicated, and the two sides seem to talk past each other. The comments below are intended to be helpful in making sense of the articles, rather than as an exhaustive discussion of their merits. Read the rest of this entry »