Math and TPRS

In the Estes Park, CO “Trail Gazette” on March 24, 2004 there was an article about a math teacher at Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, Jason Cushman, who received a National Science Foundation Presidential Award for excellence in math teaching. 

The majority of students at Eagle Rock had either dropped out of traditional schools or had been unsuccessful in the study of math.  When Jason was asked how he sparks interest in the kids, he said:

“The first way to draw kids in is to make the topic relevant to their lives.”  We do this in TPRS when we personalize our classrooms and relate our discussion to things that are important to teenagers. 

Then he said, “I then give my students complex, open-ended problems that let them explore concepts.”  We do this in TPRS by letting students hear the whole, spoken, language in all its complexity, and, by going slowly, allowing their deeper minds to explore this complexity of sound.

Next, Jason said, “Their self-concept increases and they experience positive academic transformation in all subject areas.”  Nothing motivates like success.

Then, “I try to remove myself from the role of an expert.  I let the students think about math and try to achieve consensus through dialogue in the classroom.”  In TPRS we do not deliver instructional services from on high.  Rather, we achieve consensus though dialogue with our students in the form of meaningful (i.e. comprehensible and personalized) input.

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