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Teachers will recognize this picture--found in the margins of the teacher's edition of a textbook it's supposed to be a "helpful hint" on how to teach a particular topic, how to recognize common errors, or, in this case, how to tailor the lesson to reach particular types of students.
The picture above comes from the Algebra 1 textbook my district uses, and the hint is supposed to give me a suggestion on how to reach "kinesthetic learners" (we'll save for another time whether or not such a thing even exists). Does anyone want to take a stab at defending how pushing buttons on a calculator is any more "kinesthetic" than pushing a pencil across the paper?
I've come across such machinations before. I've seen textbooks with rubrics that supposedly align individual lessons with state standards, only to look up those standards myself and find no correlation at all! And in the case above the publisher can tout "teaching to multiple intelligences" or some other such nonsense, even though anyone with at least two operational brain cells can tell the statement is complete and total crap.
So. Unscrupulous, or incompetent? I know where the smart money's being bet.