Quote from me, during Monday’s review session: “I will be asking you to give the precise statements of both parts of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus on your test tomorrow and then explain clearly why each part is important.”
Results from this morning’s test:
- Number of students correctly stating both parts of the FTC: 2 out of 6
- Number of students giving accurate explanations of the significance of the FTC: The same 2 out of 6.
This experience is certainly not unique to this group of students. Getting up in front of a group of students, telling them exactly what they need to know, exactly how it is going to be phrased on a test — this is what my calculus students, and sometimes my upper-division students, clamor for semester after semester in their evaluations (“Just tell me what’s going to be on the test!”, or recently more cleverly phrased as “You need to learn how to actually teach”) and you’d think that my complying with this, er, request would be positively correlated with good test performance at least, if not actual student learning. But it isn’t.
Something more has to take place in a classroom other than just me standing up and transmitting all this information.
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