The name of the paper is The Iceberg Problem. The copy for each of the 8 panels is below.
What Is The Iceberg Problem?
1. Imagine it’s your first day of middle school. You walk into your first math class of the school year.
2. In previous school years, math has been a bit of a struggle and you didn’t quite master all of the concepts you were taught back in elementary school. This unfinished learning from elementary school will make it harder for you to master more advanced mathematical concepts in middle school.
3. Nonetheless, your new math teacher will be assigning to you a 6th grade math textbook and will spend the year covering 6th grade material – whether or not you are ready for it.
4. While you may be able to grasp some new concepts, others will be much harder to access without the foundational skills you missed in elementary school. You continue to struggle and find math increasingly frustrating.
5. Your teacher sees that you are struggling, but she isn’t able to meet your unique needs. That’s because under current federal and state policy, she and her school are accountable for the results on the sixth grade state test. And since that test is focused on 6th grade skills, she can’t afford to take the time to go back and address what you haven’t yet learned.
6. By the time 6th grade ends, the unfinished learning that you began the school year with accumulates to include unfinished 6th grade concepts. This will make it even harder to succeed in 7th grade.
7. The next school year, your new 7th grade teacher may know how you performed on the 6th grade state test, but does not have much information about your unfinished learning back from elementary school. Even if he had more comprehensive information, he would still need to spend the school year covering all of the 7th grade skills that will appear on the 7th grade test.
8. The fact that education policy signals to teachers, administrators, and policy makers to focus instruction on each year’s annual grade level test causes unfinished learning to accumulate below the surface and creates an iceberg problem -- the phenomenon that describes when only a small amount of information is visible while the more comprehensive information remains hidden from view.