1 | 2
| 3 |
4 | 5 |
6 | 7 |
8 | 9 |
explains, appropriately enough, through an equation. If Tammy has
three baskets and seven balls in each basket, how many balls does
she have? While adults tend to do a quick mental multiplication,
kindergartners tackle such a question literally. They may draw the
baskets and count. They may use pennies to represent balls. Or they
may come up with a novel method that makes math majors stop in their
child as young as first grade, or even kindergarten, might say,
'I know 7 + 7 is 14, so you add 6 and you get 20. So I added one
more to get 21,' " says Franke. "What's surprising is
that kids so young can follow a grouping problem, something we would
never expect them to do."
adults rarely ask children to solve the problems themselves. They
wait until children can multiply, then coach them to think in multiplication
terms. Very soon, kids abandon the creative learning strategies
they've devised on their own.
first became fascinated by how children's mathematical thoughts
unfold while studying for her advanced degrees at the University
of Wisconsin, Madison. By the time she joined UCLA in 1992, she
was determined to teach teachers to learn from their students.
really powerful is how excited teachers get," says the 1997
distinguished faculty award winner. "All of a sudden, they
start thinking in terms of what children can do and not what they
can't do. The school learns not to infringe on children's learning
strategies, but to cultivate them."
days, Franke, who just completed a book, Teaching and Teacher Education,
which will be accompanied by a CD-ROM featuring teachers learning
from children, has taken her theories to the chalkboard: She's heading
a two-year program for 35 teachers and their students at Los Angeles-Moffat
Elementary School. In addition, she codirects Center X, a departmental
effort to enhance the intersection of teacher education and practice.
yes, and she still teaches, too.