I am really pondering that question.
I have had a student come to me for help with her math class. We've been doing permutations and combinations. My question for each of her problems has been "Does order matter?" If it does - it's a permutation. If it doesn't, it's a combination.
I know she wants me to do her work. (Thanks, but no thanks). I finally told her that she was guessing at easy answers but had to do some work or she was wasting both of our time. I handed her three books and said "how many ways can you line these up" and she was able to see that the order mattered.
But I know that I haven't changed the fundamental problem. She is unwilling to think - she wants to go play instead.
And that's what her teacher said when I mentioned she was coming for tutoring.
We (teachers) keep getting told we have to add rigor to our instruction. These kids are capable of thinking and they are capable of learning but they choose not to.
I am reviewing for the state testing. I have one kid reading The G Spot instead (yeah, like that's on the exam) and another who said "don't you want me to increase my vocabulary [by reading]?" She didn't find it even amusing when I handed her a math book open to the glossery.
We are having walk throughs next week. I am trying to figure out how to 1) do my review and 2) get them engaged. I am thinking about splitting them into groups and having them compete against each other working the problems. But I need to practice this before the walk throughs.