Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"TAC TEKS" or however you refer to it (it scrambles my mind)

Having read this document on what Beginning Educators are expected to know and be able to do, it's both encouraging and discouraging; it sets the bar high (as well it should) for who will be 'freed' to teach our children - but as a person hoping to teach, I will have to reach those standards myself!  I jest - it is a good thing.  One can tangle and trip on too much red tape, but standards are a good thing. 

The one TEK that caught my attention - I am a math person but could not seem to find anything explicitly math in the list?  (maybe I missed something) - was under Technology Applications Standard (chapter 126)'s subchapter C, high school, section 126.43:  3D Modelling and Animation.  This class, recommended for grades 9 thru 12, meeting the high school Fine Arts requirement, and carrying a pre-requisite of Technological Applications grades 6-8 (and recommended Art level 1), sounds like a class that would appeal, and with CAD springing to mind the world has gone beyond that being a field for mechanics and physics but now reaches into the medical world, we could of course talk of gaming and 'film'-making, also architecture, and many other fields. 

Now visiting the TEK listing I do find my subject area of math - and perusing the high school (color-coded) review there is talk, on pages 6, 7 and 8 under Algebra I, of working with graphs, quadratic functions, transformations - and of solving them with and without technology is the key phrase.  This is certainly something I will want to deal with when I get to be teaching high schoolers math.  Working with students now through tutoring I get to see how much they, on the one hand, overly and lazily depend on their calculators, yet they seem ironically to be somewhat unskilled in using.  I would seek strongly to discourage the lazy calculator use and lack of mental brainwork, yet would want to show them right and proper use of the technology they have at hand, showing them when they really should (or, indeed, need) to use them, and also teach them how to use them, how to exploit what they can do.  Graphing, for example, and how to find all the specific details of information that their own manual calculations should have found, to confirm their own work and see visuals of what all the numbers 'look' like. 

And the 'Most Important TEK'? - wow - what a question! 
But, on reflection, Social Studies seems to be a very important topic.  We must of course study ourselves, our culture, other cultures, how they've developed, how they've mixed, and how to not repeat mistakes of the past. 
Perhaps, dare we hope, how to improve on our - or our children's - future?

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