On the surface, it is easy to answer - the train was going too fast. But that answer isn't good enough. It's not enough to know that the train was speeding, we want to know WHY it was going too fast. Was it a mechanical failure? The fault of the conductor? Malfunctioning signals? Grease on the tracks?
The Why in School...We are learning to take the same approach to our classes. In some cases - applied-level math courses, for instance - we see only a small percentage of students achieving provincial standard. Why is that?
Ontario's Renewed Math Strategy
By definition, a student with a learning disability has an average to above average intelligence. They just have ways - that have been identified - in which it is MUCH harder for them to learn. For whatever reason, though these students have average to above average potential, students with learning disabilities are disproportionately taking applied-level courses over academic-level courses. And they are achieving success at lower rates in those courses than students without learning disabilities.
So again, we ask ourselves, WHY?
And let's not forget, that what's good for a student with a learning disability, is good for even more students in the class. These purposeful interventions can have a huge, positive, trickle down effect.
That's what part of my new role is all about - digging down to determine the why for at-risk students with learning disabilities all across the school board, and working with teachers to best use that knowledge to help students achieve success in math. And perhaps we can prevent a few crashes along the way.