I attended a Professional Development session at my school today. There were about 16-20 staff members present (there is another Professional Development session tomorrow which the others will likely attend). Part of the professional development session, which is planned by teachers, focused on Math curriculum and how it is aligned and sequenced with respect to the grades below and the grades above. Being new to the school, I did a lot of listening, but did ask a few questions here and there.
There was some interesting discussions focusing on curriculum and what each grade level focuses most on with their students. There was also a great deal of discussion about which curriculum used to be included in the math curriculum for each grade and which prescribed learning outcomes were changed when the math curriculum was redone in 2007 and, thus, not expected to be taught by teachers any longer.
One of the areas that was discussed was “Telling Time”. Many of the teachers talked about the fact that many of their students do not know how to tell time on an analog clock. Time and passage of time used to be a focus in the curriculum for students as young as Kindergarten/Grade 1, but was taken out of the British Columbia math curriculum in 2007 (for every grade except for Grades 3 & 4). Teaching students how to tell time on digital and analog clocks is only in the Grade 4 math curriculum.
As I listened to these passionate, dedicated teachers discussing this issue, I wondered silently if the skill of being able to tell time on an analog clock was even necessary at all.
Don’t get me wrong – time: understanding time, understanding passage of time, understanding the units time is measured and what each unit of measure means, and relating all of this to their everyday life, is very important.
My question is with learning to tell time on analog clocks.
young people wear analog watches (or any watch, for that matter) or have an analog clock in their house?
How many businesses display the time using analog clocks?
How often do people refer to analog clocks in conversations?
Is it really necessary for 21st Century students to learn how to tell time on an analog clock in today’s digital age?
I would argue that there are many other math concepts that are much more important to teach our students in order for them to be numerate members of our society.
What do you think?