## RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

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• On another tangent: these are often the same people who say in frustration that statistics always lie (it s the incomprehensible numbers, not the people
Message 1 of 9 , Mar 10, 2011
On another tangent: these are often the same people who say in frustration that "statistics always lie" (it's the incomprehensible numbers, not the people creating them, which "lie"). How can these people ever make rational decisions in the voting booth when one candidate says, "We need more tax dollars to support essential programs," and another says, "We need to 'balance the budget' no matter what"? They can't understand the question if they can't do the arithmetic.

________________________________
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gilliland, Mary [mkgilliland@...]
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:54 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Deborah: what you are seeing reflects what we see in larger numbers in math. The stumbling blocks are fractions, decimals, percentages, and conversion from percent to a decimal number. That's not to say that higher math is also not a huge challenge, but the majority at Pima never get beyond a pre-college math level, which is astounding and worrisome. We suspect literacy is at the root of some of it, and not just non-native English speakers, but simple ability to read and comprehend. But we also wonder about how and why so many people seem to have problems with fractions and percentages. There is some interesting stuff out there, including someone up at Berkeley who is the Math Guy on NPR, who has written about cultural differences in the ways we approach math -- in India for example, they begin with measuring activities, which leads more easily into fractions and percentages. He says the approach is based on "rational" numbers, not "counting" numbers, and also says that we in the West assume (cultural bias) that "counting" is a "natural" activity for humans. The Math Guy says measuring is just as natural or unnatural, and in fact they both have to be learned -- there are cultures where people don't really count. I'm on a rant here and this has less to do with Mark's question, because what I really intended to support to begin with is that Anthropology is a critical area of study, because without it we stay fixed in those cultural biases of our own, and are so much less prepared for a global world, among other things.

Mary Kay

-----Original Message-----
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Deborah Shepherd
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:37 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

A critical age for learning math skills is a curious idea. I just don't know, but given how many of my students seem wholly incompetent with or mystified by simple arithmetic, I wonder. No, these students are not so many, but I'm somewhat surprised that there are any at all. I see it mainly when they ask me whether or not they can still get a C (or a B, or even, astoundingly, an A) in their class. They look at their grade page. It tells them how many points they have, how many are in the whole course, and how many they yet have a chance to earn. They only have to figure out how many points they need to get 70%, etc., and then look at how many points they can still earn. Some are too lazy to work that little problem out, but most of them who ask me honestly can't figure out how to calculate it. In particular, they don't understand percentages. I'm sure they can't interpret a bank statement. That's a very dangerous lack of knowledge. My other point, earlier, is that a very few of these math-challenged students are getting A's in my class because they are skilled at reading and writing, and they even do well with the critical thinking questions--truly. But they lack basic arithmetic skills.

________________________________
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Gilliland, Mary [mkgilliland@...<mailto:mkgilliland%40pima.edu>]
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:22 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

I'm going to piggy back on Dianne's remark, which is so absolutely on target. I have become an Academic Dean of (strangely), the whole STEM area at Pima (my current field work, in a sense), and because of our dismal state support of public education, including CC's, we are madly writing grant proposals. In that process, I have been looking at completion & success rates in math in particular. We often have the lower level (developmental level) math classes with only a handful of students (literally perhaps only 3 or 4) completing with C or better, out of 32 students. Our math instructors often comment that literacy (or lack thereof) gets in the way of students' ability to work through homework and comprehend. Word problems are especially challenging.

I'm also wondering if there might be some "critical age" for learning key math concepts, such as fractions, that might parallel linguistic critical age (for semantics, for example), and that having missed the boat at a very young age, we face serious challenges with literacy and basic math skills in many of our community college learners. This doesn't mean that they are incompetent, but that they will continue to do poorly on assessments in these areas unless we find an entirely different way of reaching them, and stress important areas such as reading, writing, and what are perceived as the "softer" areas of education, which, nonetheless, contribute greatly to critical thinking.

Mary Kay

-----Original Message-----
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Dianne C
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 5:39 AM
To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Hi, Mark!

I may just be blowing off steam, but something that has gotten under my skin is the repeated "math/science" aspect of the push from the administration. Many of my students CANNOT READ, let alone write. How are they going to do "math/science" if they cannot (will not) read and/or write a simple sentence? The largest programs at our school are now the developmental classes. There is even a discussion of "developmental introduction to computers" because although they are able to play games, they cannot use a computer.

Is it spring break yet?

Dianne Chidester

To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
From: mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 00:04:17 -0500
Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task ForceI forgot to add what I wrote last about what we SACCers need from my perspective for our future, (then realized I needed to ask SACCers to tell me!) So this is what I emailed last week for the community college part of our action plan:

What we need to do is come up with a concise list of short and long term problems for community college anthropology survival, with alternative solutions suggested for each, followed by a final statement of the importance of anthropology and anthropologists in community colleges, which our political and economic leaders (Obama and Gates) keep saying are expected to be the key to preparing students and workers for occupations in the 21st century.
Then we need to ask Damon Dozier to get us time with Martha Kanter, the cc undersecretary at the Dept. of Ed., and with Prof. Jill Biden...
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Lewine
To: SACC-L
Cc: mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 11:58 PM
Subject: Fw: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Dear SACC Friends and Family: I have been asked to re-draft the Action Plan for our AAA Education Task Force with regard to community colleges...I would actually like to identify most significant issues determining our anthropology curricula and instruction, then suggest some remedies, but I thought that I should get some advice from our national family here at SACC-L, since there are some younger and more sensible brains...this Task Force has several educational research types, so if there is any research source(s) or context to check, please advise. Thanks, Mark
p.s. any useful advice will merit something special in Omaha
----- Original Message -----
From: Teresa McCarty
To: Mark Lewine
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2011 7:43 AM
Subject: Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

HI, Mark,

I left 2c blank hoping you can fill it in. We're supposed to determine how anthropology is taught at the 3 levels, K-12, museums, community colleges. I understand the K-12 context best and we can get at that information by examining state standards. I don't know if there is anything comparable for community colleges of museums. We really need you to tell us what the best way is to determine how anthropology is taught at the CC level.

From your messages, it may be that we need to rethink the charge vis-�-vis anthropology at the CC level....I think we're all open to your suggestions as to how to approach addressing charge 2c.

I hope this helps!

Best,
Terri

On 3/6/11 8:10 PM, "Mark Lewine" <mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>> wrote:

Before responding, Teresa, I would like to know more specifically what questions and expected outcomes you think fit the community college context, given our two charges...I am not at all sure what you meant by C(i) and C(ii) related to the second column...
I do want to continue the warning about how we need to voice representative and responsible concern with as much weight as we can to the political and economic power centers about the rapid state of "instructional" (I hate that term for faculty teaching roles but that is what is used) and curricular destruction in community colleges of anthropology and anthropologists just when we are needed most. Furthermore, I do have some suggested remedies to offer.
----- Original Message -----

From: Teresa McCarty <mailto:Teresa.McCarty@...<mailto:Teresa.McCarty%40asu.edu><mailto:Teresa.McCarty%40asu.edu>>

To: cemihovich@...<mailto:cemihovich%40coe.ufl.edu><mailto:cemihovich%40coe.ufl.edu> ; khoerig@...<mailto:khoerig%40fortapachearizona.org><mailto:khoerig%40fortapachearizona.org> ; mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com> ; Jean.schensul@...<mailto:Jean.schensul%40icrweb.org><mailto:Jean.schensul%40icrweb.org> ; jschensu@...<mailto:jschensu%40aol.com><mailto:jschensu%40aol.com> ; sav33@...<mailto:sav33%40cornell.edu><mailto:sav33%40cornell.edu>

Cc: Virginia R. Dominguez <mailto:dominguezvr@...<mailto:dominguezvr%40gmail.com><mailto:dominguezvr%40gmail.com>>

Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 4:21 PM

Subject: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Greetings, Catherine, Karl, Mark, Jay, and Sofia (and Virginia - this is fyi),

I hope this finds you all well. I'm attaching a draft action plan to help us move forward on accomplishing our tasks and charges. Please look it over and make any recommendations for changes. You will see some highlighted areas and question marks where I/we need help identifying specific tasks and activities to accomplish the charge, and members to lead those activities. Also, timelines could be unrealistic for the first two charges, but I think we need to make substantive progress on both of those charges before the 2011 AAA meeting -- and we can. I've identified team leaders for most of the charges; again, please have a look and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, Mark has brought to our attention an increasingly volatile situation with regard to community college (de)funding, which is moving CCs away from being comprehensive in the populations served and subjects taught. He is urging AAA (and by extension, our committee) to act nationally on this. Mark, I will let you pick it up from there.

If you could get back to me in the next week with your thoughts on the action plan - and also filling in blanks (because there are many) -- that will be great.

Good weekends to all, and I look forward to hearing from you.

All best,
Terri

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

------------------------------------

Find out more at our web site http://saccweb.net/ Yahoo! Groups Links

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

------------------------------------

Find out more at our web site http://saccweb.net/ Yahoo! Groups Links

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
• I know very well I m blowing off steam here, but I have an interesting perspective (at least to me) on individuals under 35 and their performance in college
Message 2 of 9 , Mar 11, 2011
I know very well I'm blowing off steam here, but I have an interesting perspective (at least to me) on individuals under 35 and their performance in college courses. In prison college programs we have many students who "achieved" their situations in life through excellent business sense, uncanny ability with math, and a tremendous drop in the ability to sense when their skills and successes came packaged with destructive effects on others (ie, negative reciprocity on steroids).
I get the usual idiotic questions regularly re. grades and percentages, but when I tell them to go figure it out themselves using the syllabus, outline, etc., most of them come up with the percentages they're looking for.
Or at least they manage to convince me they succeeded.  Many are very good at deception.  How to channel such skill.....?
Writing settles in at the grade-school level across the board, with a few exceptions.  Most writing is quite bad.
It's interesting how I almost never get challenged over early course perspectives on early human/primate populations, humanity's tiny place on geologic time scales, and the importance of a perspective on cultures other than ours.  Occasionally I get feedback on "the other" from students, themselves from another culture. One even had first-hand experience with friends in Polynesia, and a form of the "Hawaiian" kinship system -- one kid, lots of moms & dads.
I'll try to Google that material on the NPR "Math Guy" and cultural approaches to numbers.
Something about this apparent difference between people who find themselves in prison, vs. people functioning "on the outside," has relevance when we talk about the criticality of "soft" courses, and whether it is necessary for our governments to fund such programs.
Paraphrasing Twain, in a time when it's especially true that one can drive a covered wagon through most political arguments without brushing against facts on either side, we can see a possible disconnect between those making decisions about support for education (from "lower" to "higher"), and the kinds of artistic talent, business skills and lively imaginations looking for some outlet, many of which postive traits contributed to their runs-in with the law.
OK, I give up.  I'm just blowing smoke!
G

Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force
Posted by: "Deborah Shepherd" deborah.shepherd@... deborah_j_shepherd
Date: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:05 am ((PST))

On another tangent: these are often the same people who say in frustration that "statistics always lie" (it's the incomprehensible numbers, not the people creating them, which "lie"). How can these people ever make rational decisions in the voting booth when one candidate says, "We need more tax dollars to support essential programs," and another says, "We need to 'balance the budget' no matter what"? They can't understand the question if they can't do the arithmetic.

________________________________
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gilliland, Mary [mkgilliland@...]
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:54 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Deborah: what you are seeing reflects what we see in larger numbers in math. The stumbling blocks are fractions, decimals, percentages, and conversion from percent to a decimal number. That's not to say that higher math is also not a huge challenge, but the majority at Pima never get beyond a pre-college math level, which is astounding and worrisome. We suspect literacy is at the root of some of it, and not just non-native English speakers, but simple ability to read and comprehend. But we also wonder about how and why so many people seem to have problems with fractions and percentages. There is some interesting stuff out there, including someone up at Berkeley who is the Math Guy on NPR, who has written about cultural differences in the ways we approach math -- in India for example, they begin with measuring activities, which leads more easily into fractions and percentages. He says the approach is based on "rational" numbers, not "counting" numbers,
and also says that we in the West assume (cultural bias) that "counting" is a "natural" activity for humans. The Math Guy says measuring is just as natural or unnatural, and in fact they both have to be learned -- there are cultures where people don't really count. I'm on a rant here and this has less to do with Mark's question, because what I really intended to support to begin with is that Anthropology is a critical area of study, because without it we stay fixed in those cultural biases of our own, and are so much less prepared for a global world, among other things.

Mary Kay

-----Original Message-----
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Deborah Shepherd
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:37 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

A critical age for learning math skills is a curious idea. I just don't know, but given how many of my students seem wholly incompetent with or mystified by simple arithmetic, I wonder. No, these students are not so many, but I'm somewhat surprised that there are any at all. I see it mainly when they ask me whether or not they can still get a C (or a B, or even, astoundingly, an A) in their class. They look at their grade page. It tells them how many points they have, how many are in the whole course, and how many they yet have a chance to earn. They only have to figure out how many points they need to get 70%, etc., and then look at how many points they can still earn. Some are too lazy to work that little problem out, but most of them who ask me honestly can't figure out how to calculate it. In particular, they don't understand percentages. I'm sure they can't interpret a bank statement. That's a very dangerous lack of knowledge. My other point,
earlier, is that a very few of these math-challenged students are getting A's in my class because they are skilled at reading and writing, and they even do well with the critical thinking questions--truly. But they lack basic arithmetic skills.

________________________________
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Gilliland, Mary [mkgilliland@...<mailto:mkgilliland%40pima.edu>]
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:22 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

I'm going to piggy back on Dianne's remark, which is so absolutely on target. I have become an Academic Dean of (strangely), the whole STEM area at Pima (my current field work, in a sense), and because of our dismal state support of public education, including CC's, we are madly writing grant proposals. In that process, I have been looking at completion & success rates in math in particular. We often have the lower level (developmental level) math classes with only a handful of students (literally perhaps only 3 or 4) completing with C or better, out of 32 students. Our math instructors often comment that literacy (or lack thereof) gets in the way of students' ability to work through homework and comprehend. Word problems are especially challenging.

I'm also wondering if there might be some "critical age" for learning key math concepts, such as fractions, that might parallel linguistic critical age (for semantics, for example), and that having missed the boat at a very young age, we face serious challenges with literacy and basic math skills in many of our community college learners. This doesn't mean that they are incompetent, but that they will continue to do poorly on assessments in these areas unless we find an entirely different way of reaching them, and stress important areas such as reading, writing, and what are perceived as the "softer" areas of education, which, nonetheless, contribute greatly to critical thinking.

Mary Kay

Posted by: "Lynch, Brian M" blynch@... bdlqvcc
Date: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:53 am ((PST))

Federal, State, and local pressures are on now, for "student success."  This translates into graduation numbers, and graduation within a specific timeframe (1.5 X the stated length of the degree)  2yr degree = 3 years for "successful" students; 4 yr = 6.   Within that, federal and state monies focus on "preparing graduates for the workforce"... and this means a central push for "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum.  This goes all the way down to the K-12 curriculum as well.   Subjects like philosophy, anthropology, literature, fine arts etc.  become quaint and marginal in this smorgasbord.  And when the dust settles from current state battles (including here in CT, where higher education is about to go through a major transformation) it will be most interesting to see what 'essentials' are left.

Brian

-----Original Message-----
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Dianne C
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 5:39 AM
To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Hi, Mark!

I may just be blowing off steam, but something that has gotten under my skin is the repeated "math/science" aspect of the push from the administration. Many of my students CANNOT READ, let alone write. How are they going to do "math/science" if they cannot (will not) read and/or write a simple sentence? The largest programs at our school are now the developmental classes. There is even a discussion of "developmental introduction to computers" because although they are able to play games, they cannot use a computer.

Is it spring break yet?

Dianne Chidester

To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
From: mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 00:04:17 -0500
Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task ForceI forgot to add what I wrote last about what we SACCers need from my perspective for our future, (then realized I needed to ask SACCers to tell me!) So this is what I emailed last week for the community college part of our action plan:

What we need to do is come up with a concise list of short and long term problems for community college anthropology survival, with alternative solutions suggested for each, followed by a final statement of the importance of anthropology and anthropologists in community colleges, which our political and economic leaders (Obama and Gates) keep saying are expected to be the key to preparing students and workers for occupations in the 21st century.
Then we need to ask Damon Dozier to get us time with Martha Kanter, the cc undersecretary at the Dept. of Ed., and with Prof. Jill Biden...
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Lewine
To: SACC-L
Cc: mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 11:58 PM
Subject: Fw: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Dear SACC Friends and Family: I have been asked to re-draft the Action Plan for our AAA Education Task Force with regard to community colleges...I would actually like to identify most significant issues determining our anthropology curricula and instruction, then suggest some remedies, but I thought that I should get some advice from our national family here at SACC-L, since there are some younger and more sensible brains...this Task Force has several educational research types, so if there is any research source(s) or context to check, please advise. Thanks, Mark
p.s. any useful advice will merit something special in Omaha
----- Original Message -----
From: Teresa McCarty
To: Mark Lewine
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2011 7:43 AM
Subject: Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

HI, Mark,

I left 2c blank hoping you can fill it in. We're supposed to determine how anthropology is taught at the 3 levels, K-12, museums, community colleges. I understand the K-12 context best and we can get at that information by examining state standards. I don't know if there is anything comparable for community colleges of museums. We really need you to tell us what the best way is to determine how anthropology is taught at the CC level.

From your messages, it may be that we need to rethink the charge vis-à-vis anthropology at the CC level....I think we're all open to your suggestions as to how to approach addressing charge 2c.

I hope this helps!

Best,
Terri

On 3/6/11 8:10 PM, "Mark Lewine" <mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>> wrote:

Before responding, Teresa, I would like to know more specifically what questions and expected outcomes you think fit the community college context, given our two charges...I am not at all sure what you meant by C(i) and C(ii) related to the second column...
I do want to continue the warning about how we need to voice representative and responsible concern with as much weight as we can to the political and economic power centers about the rapid state of "instructional" (I hate that term for faculty teaching roles but that is what is used) and curricular destruction in community colleges of anthropology and anthropologists just when we are needed most. Furthermore, I do have some suggested remedies to offer.
----- Original Message -----

From: Teresa McCarty <mailto:Teresa.McCarty@...<mailto:Teresa.McCarty%40asu.edu><mailto:Teresa.McCarty%40asu.edu>>

To: cemihovich@...<mailto:cemihovich%40coe.ufl.edu><mailto:cemihovich%40coe.ufl.edu> ; khoerig@...<mailto:khoerig%40fortapachearizona.org><mailto:khoerig%40fortapachearizona.org> ; mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com> ; Jean.schensul@...<mailto:Jean.schensul%40icrweb.org><mailto:Jean.schensul%40icrweb.org> ; jschensu@...<mailto:jschensu%40aol.com><mailto:jschensu%40aol.com> ; sav33@...<mailto:sav33%40cornell.edu><mailto:sav33%40cornell.edu>

Cc: Virginia R. Dominguez <mailto:dominguezvr@...<mailto:dominguezvr%40gmail.com><mailto:dominguezvr%40gmail.com>>

Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 4:21 PM

Subject: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Greetings, Catherine, Karl, Mark, Jay, and Sofia (and Virginia - this is fyi),

I hope this finds you all well. I'm attaching a draft action plan to help us move forward on accomplishing our tasks and charges. Please look it over and make any recommendations for changes. You will see some highlighted areas and question marks where I/we need help identifying specific tasks and activities to accomplish the charge, and members to lead those activities. Also, timelines could be unrealistic for the first two charges, but I think we need to make substantive progress on both of those charges before the 2011 AAA meeting -- and we can. I've identified team leaders for most of the charges; again, please have a look and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, Mark has brought to our attention an increasingly volatile situation with regard to community college (de)funding, which is moving CCs away from being comprehensive in the populations served and subjects taught. He is urging AAA (and by extension, our committee) to act nationally on this. Mark, I will let you pick it up from there.

If you could get back to me in the next week with your thoughts on the action plan - and also filling in blanks (because there are many) -- that will be great.

Good weekends to all, and I look forward to hearing from you.

All best,
Terri

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

------------------------------------

Find out more at our web site http://saccweb.net/ Yahoo! Groups Links

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

------------------------------------

Find out more at our web site http://saccweb.net/ Yahoo! Groups Links

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
• I can definitely see how certain sectors of the prison population would have uncanny math ability, business sense, and less common cultural experiences, making
Message 3 of 9 , Mar 11, 2011
I can definitely see how certain sectors of the prison population would have uncanny math ability, business sense, and less common cultural experiences, making them outsiders in more ways than one. Interesting observations.

________________________________
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of George Thomas [broruprecht@...]
Sent: Friday, March 11, 2011 10:49 AM
To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

I know very well I'm blowing off steam here, but I have an interesting perspective (at least to me) on individuals under 35 and their performance in college courses. In prison college programs we have many students who "achieved" their situations in life through excellent business sense, uncanny ability with math, and a tremendous drop in the ability to sense when their skills and successes came packaged with destructive effects on others (ie, negative reciprocity on steroids).
I get the usual idiotic questions regularly re. grades and percentages, but when I tell them to go figure it out themselves using the syllabus, outline, etc., most of them come up with the percentages they're looking for.
Or at least they manage to convince me they succeeded. Many are very good at deception. How to channel such skill.....?
Writing settles in at the grade-school level across the board, with a few exceptions. Most writing is quite bad.
It's interesting how I almost never get challenged over early course perspectives on early human/primate populations, humanity's tiny place on geologic time scales, and the importance of a perspective on cultures other than ours. Occasionally I get feedback on "the other" from students, themselves from another culture. One even had first-hand experience with friends in Polynesia, and a form of the "Hawaiian" kinship system -- one kid, lots of moms & dads.
I'll try to Google that material on the NPR "Math Guy" and cultural approaches to numbers.
Something about this apparent difference between people who find themselves in prison, vs. people functioning "on the outside," has relevance when we talk about the criticality of "soft" courses, and whether it is necessary for our governments to fund such programs.
Paraphrasing Twain, in a time when it's especially true that one can drive a covered wagon through most political arguments without brushing against facts on either side, we can see a possible disconnect between those making decisions about support for education (from "lower" to "higher"), and the kinds of artistic talent, business skills and lively imaginations looking for some outlet, many of which postive traits contributed to their runs-in with the law.
OK, I give up. I'm just blowing smoke!
G

Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force
Posted by: "Deborah Shepherd" deborah.shepherd@...<mailto:deborah.shepherd%40anokaramsey.edu> deborah_j_shepherd
Date: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:05 am ((PST))

On another tangent: these are often the same people who say in frustration that "statistics always lie" (it's the incomprehensible numbers, not the people creating them, which "lie"). How can these people ever make rational decisions in the voting booth when one candidate says, "We need more tax dollars to support essential programs," and another says, "We need to 'balance the budget' no matter what"? They can't understand the question if they can't do the arithmetic.

________________________________
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Gilliland, Mary [mkgilliland@...<mailto:mkgilliland%40pima.edu>]
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 11:54 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Deborah: what you are seeing reflects what we see in larger numbers in math. The stumbling blocks are fractions, decimals, percentages, and conversion from percent to a decimal number. That's not to say that higher math is also not a huge challenge, but the majority at Pima never get beyond a pre-college math level, which is astounding and worrisome. We suspect literacy is at the root of some of it, and not just non-native English speakers, but simple ability to read and comprehend. But we also wonder about how and why so many people seem to have problems with fractions and percentages. There is some interesting stuff out there, including someone up at Berkeley who is the Math Guy on NPR, who has written about cultural differences in the ways we approach math -- in India for example, they begin with measuring activities, which leads more easily into fractions and percentages. He says the approach is based on "rational" numbers, not "counting" numbers,
and also says that we in the West assume (cultural bias) that "counting" is a "natural" activity for humans. The Math Guy says measuring is just as natural or unnatural, and in fact they both have to be learned -- there are cultures where people don't really count. I'm on a rant here and this has less to do with Mark's question, because what I really intended to support to begin with is that Anthropology is a critical area of study, because without it we stay fixed in those cultural biases of our own, and are so much less prepared for a global world, among other things.

Mary Kay

-----Original Message-----
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Deborah Shepherd
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:37 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

A critical age for learning math skills is a curious idea. I just don't know, but given how many of my students seem wholly incompetent with or mystified by simple arithmetic, I wonder. No, these students are not so many, but I'm somewhat surprised that there are any at all. I see it mainly when they ask me whether or not they can still get a C (or a B, or even, astoundingly, an A) in their class. They look at their grade page. It tells them how many points they have, how many are in the whole course, and how many they yet have a chance to earn. They only have to figure out how many points they need to get 70%, etc., and then look at how many points they can still earn. Some are too lazy to work that little problem out, but most of them who ask me honestly can't figure out how to calculate it. In particular, they don't understand percentages. I'm sure they can't interpret a bank statement. That's a very dangerous lack of knowledge. My other point,
earlier, is that a very few of these math-challenged students are getting A's in my class because they are skilled at reading and writing, and they even do well with the critical thinking questions--truly. But they lack basic arithmetic skills.

________________________________
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Gilliland, Mary [mkgilliland@...<mailto:mkgilliland%40pima.edu><mailto:mkgilliland%40pima.edu>]
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:22 AM
To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

I'm going to piggy back on Dianne's remark, which is so absolutely on target. I have become an Academic Dean of (strangely), the whole STEM area at Pima (my current field work, in a sense), and because of our dismal state support of public education, including CC's, we are madly writing grant proposals. In that process, I have been looking at completion & success rates in math in particular. We often have the lower level (developmental level) math classes with only a handful of students (literally perhaps only 3 or 4) completing with C or better, out of 32 students. Our math instructors often comment that literacy (or lack thereof) gets in the way of students' ability to work through homework and comprehend. Word problems are especially challenging.

I'm also wondering if there might be some "critical age" for learning key math concepts, such as fractions, that might parallel linguistic critical age (for semantics, for example), and that having missed the boat at a very young age, we face serious challenges with literacy and basic math skills in many of our community college learners. This doesn't mean that they are incompetent, but that they will continue to do poorly on assessments in these areas unless we find an entirely different way of reaching them, and stress important areas such as reading, writing, and what are perceived as the "softer" areas of education, which, nonetheless, contribute greatly to critical thinking.

Mary Kay

Posted by: "Lynch, Brian M" blynch@...<mailto:blynch%40qvcc.commnet.edu> bdlqvcc
Date: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:53 am ((PST))

Federal, State, and local pressures are on now, for "student success." This translates into graduation numbers, and graduation within a specific timeframe (1.5 X the stated length of the degree) 2yr degree = 3 years for "successful" students; 4 yr = 6. Within that, federal and state monies focus on "preparing graduates for the workforce"... and this means a central push for "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum. This goes all the way down to the K-12 curriculum as well. Subjects like philosophy, anthropology, literature, fine arts etc. become quaint and marginal in this smorgasbord. And when the dust settles from current state battles (including here in CT, where higher education is about to go through a major transformation) it will be most interesting to see what 'essentials' are left.

Brian

-----Original Message-----
From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of Dianne C
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 5:39 AM
To: sacc-l@yahoogroups.com<mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:sacc-l%40yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Hi, Mark!

I may just be blowing off steam, but something that has gotten under my skin is the repeated "math/science" aspect of the push from the administration. Many of my students CANNOT READ, let alone write. How are they going to do "math/science" if they cannot (will not) read and/or write a simple sentence? The largest programs at our school are now the developmental classes. There is even a discussion of "developmental introduction to computers" because although they are able to play games, they cannot use a computer.

Is it spring break yet?

Dianne Chidester

To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
From: mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 00:04:17 -0500
Subject: [SACC-L] Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task ForceI forgot to add what I wrote last about what we SACCers need from my perspective for our future, (then realized I needed to ask SACCers to tell me!) So this is what I emailed last week for the community college part of our action plan:

What we need to do is come up with a concise list of short and long term problems for community college anthropology survival, with alternative solutions suggested for each, followed by a final statement of the importance of anthropology and anthropologists in community colleges, which our political and economic leaders (Obama and Gates) keep saying are expected to be the key to preparing students and workers for occupations in the 21st century.
Then we need to ask Damon Dozier to get us time with Martha Kanter, the cc undersecretary at the Dept. of Ed., and with Prof. Jill Biden...
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Lewine
To: SACC-L
Cc: mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 11:58 PM
Subject: Fw: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Dear SACC Friends and Family: I have been asked to re-draft the Action Plan for our AAA Education Task Force with regard to community colleges...I would actually like to identify most significant issues determining our anthropology curricula and instruction, then suggest some remedies, but I thought that I should get some advice from our national family here at SACC-L, since there are some younger and more sensible brains...this Task Force has several educational research types, so if there is any research source(s) or context to check, please advise. Thanks, Mark
p.s. any useful advice will merit something special in Omaha
----- Original Message -----
From: Teresa McCarty
To: Mark Lewine
Sent: Monday, March 07, 2011 7:43 AM
Subject: Re: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

HI, Mark,

I left 2c blank hoping you can fill it in. We're supposed to determine how anthropology is taught at the 3 levels, K-12, museums, community colleges. I understand the K-12 context best and we can get at that information by examining state standards. I don't know if there is anything comparable for community colleges of museums. We really need you to tell us what the best way is to determine how anthropology is taught at the CC level.

From your messages, it may be that we need to rethink the charge vis-�-vis anthropology at the CC level....I think we're all open to your suggestions as to how to approach addressing charge 2c.

I hope this helps!

Best,
Terri

On 3/6/11 8:10 PM, "Mark Lewine" <mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com>> wrote:

Before responding, Teresa, I would like to know more specifically what questions and expected outcomes you think fit the community college context, given our two charges...I am not at all sure what you meant by C(i) and C(ii) related to the second column...
I do want to continue the warning about how we need to voice representative and responsible concern with as much weight as we can to the political and economic power centers about the rapid state of "instructional" (I hate that term for faculty teaching roles but that is what is used) and curricular destruction in community colleges of anthropology and anthropologists just when we are needed most. Furthermore, I do have some suggested remedies to offer.
----- Original Message -----

From: Teresa McCarty <mailto:Teresa.McCarty@...<mailto:Teresa.McCarty%40asu.edu><mailto:Teresa.McCarty%40asu.edu><mailto:Teresa.McCarty%40asu.edu>>

To: cemihovich@...<mailto:cemihovich%40coe.ufl.edu><mailto:cemihovich%40coe.ufl.edu><mailto:cemihovich%40coe.ufl.edu> ; khoerig@...<mailto:khoerig%40fortapachearizona.org><mailto:khoerig%40fortapachearizona.org><mailto:khoerig%40fortapachearizona.org> ; mlewine@...<mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com><mailto:mlewine%40wowway.com> ; Jean.schensul@...<mailto:Jean.schensul%40icrweb.org><mailto:Jean.schensul%40icrweb.org><mailto:Jean.schensul%40icrweb.org> ; jschensu@...<mailto:jschensu%40aol.com><mailto:jschensu%40aol.com><mailto:jschensu%40aol.com> ; sav33@...<mailto:sav33%40cornell.edu><mailto:sav33%40cornell.edu><mailto:sav33%40cornell.edu>

Cc: Virginia R. Dominguez <mailto:dominguezvr@...<mailto:dominguezvr%40gmail.com><mailto:dominguezvr%40gmail.com><mailto:dominguezvr%40gmail.com>>

Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 4:21 PM

Subject: Draft Action Plan for AAA Education Task Force

Greetings, Catherine, Karl, Mark, Jay, and Sofia (and Virginia - this is fyi),

I hope this finds you all well. I'm attaching a draft action plan to help us move forward on accomplishing our tasks and charges. Please look it over and make any recommendations for changes. You will see some highlighted areas and question marks where I/we need help identifying specific tasks and activities to accomplish the charge, and members to lead those activities. Also, timelines could be unrealistic for the first two charges, but I think we need to make substantive progress on both of those charges before the 2011 AAA meeting -- and we can. I've identified team leaders for most of the charges; again, please have a look and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, Mark has brought to our attention an increasingly volatile situation with regard to community college (de)funding, which is moving CCs away from being comprehensive in the populations served and subjects taught. He is urging AAA (and by extension, our committee) to act nationally on this. Mark, I will let you pick it up from there.

If you could get back to me in the next week with your thoughts on the action plan - and also filling in blanks (because there are many) -- that will be great.

Good weekends to all, and I look forward to hearing from you.

All best,
Terri

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