“What that extra time does is allow for a more relaxed atmosphere,” [Frank] Corcoran said, after the class was over.  “I find that the problem with math education is the sink-or-swim approach.  Everything is rapid fire, and the kids who get it first are the ones who are rewarded.  So there comes to be a feeling that there are people who can do math and there are people who aren’t math people.  I think that extended amount of time gives you the chance as a teacher to explain things, and more time for the kids to sit and digest everything that’s going on–to review, to do things at a much slower pace.  It seems counterintuitive but we do things at a slower pace and as a result we get through a lot more.  There’s a lot more retention, better understanding of the material.  It lets me be a little bit more relaxed.   We have time to have games.  Kids can ask any questions they want, and if I’m explaining something, I don’t feel pressed for time.  I can go back over material and not feel time pressure.”  The extra time gave Corcoran the chance to make mathematics meaningful:  to let his students see the clear relationship between effort and reward.

–– Frank Corcoran quoted in Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell p 262


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