Sometimes, after I have explained how status plays out in the classroom, somebody will push back by saying, “Yeah, but status is going to happen. Some kids are just smarter than others.”
I am not naive: I do not believe that everybody is the same or has the same abilities. I do not even think this would be desirable. However, I do think that too many kids have gifts that are not recognized or valued in school — especially in mathematics class.
Let me elaborate. In schools, the most valued kind of mathematical competence is typically quick and accurate calculation. There is nothing wrong with being a fast and accurate calculator: a facility with numbers and algorithms no…
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