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Topic: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics (repost)
Replies: 29   Last Post: Nov 19, 1995 4:46 PM

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Problem of the Week

Posts: 292
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Posted: Nov 6, 1995 11:44 AM
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In article <47dhg8$ih3@forum.swarthmore.edu>, krennin1@swarthmore.edu
(K.Ann Renninger) wrote:

> RESEARCH SUMMARY: REPOST
>
> LEARNING AND MATHEMATICS
>
> PAPERT (1993)
>
> Quotes and Comments:
>
> Discussion can be used to bring an issue to
> mind and can then be followed by direct instruction; It can also
> be used following instruction to enable students to consolidate
> their "real" understanding of what has been presented. Discussion
> can also be used in evaluating how students have synthesized their
> understanding of a new skill in combination with prior skills.


I have found it to be the case that the best way to test my understanding
of something is to discuss it, or even better try teaching it to somebody
else. It is this _discussion_ of mathematics that makes me want to be a
teacher as opposed to a mathematician who only gets to "do" math. What
are other ways in which we can test whether or not a student has learned
something?

It seems to me that the method used most often now is to give written
examinations. Exams however tend to test a student's ability to DO
similar (if not essentially identical) problems. It was rare in my
education that I was forced to discuss concepts in math class.



> o Papert argues for a constructionist philosophy that will promote
> teaching "in such a way as to produce the most learning for the
> least teaching" (p. 139). He contrasts this view with that of
> instructionism, in which "the route to better learning must be the
> improvement of instruction" (p. 139). According to Papert,
> constructionism is tied to mathetics in the sense that children
> can often learn without the benefit of schooling, and, if given
> the incentive to learn it independently, will even learn a subject
> better than they would have learned it in school.


This concept of the most learning for the least teaching interests me.
What came to my mind was a picture of a kid who's been labelled a
"difficult student" or "slow learner", yet who has learned an unbelievable
amount of information about an out-of-school hobby (cars, dinosaurs,
whatever).



> It should be noted, however, that instituting discussions or
> moving toward more student-directed classes requires that teachers
> be ready to take up questions to which they do not know the
> answers, come prepared with a variety of resources, and in
> general, be well-versed in the content that they are teaching.


This description of how teachers might need to adapt gets at a completely
different concept of what a teacher is. It echoes the calls of teachers
as co-learners, guides, and friends rather than as simple purveyors of
knowledge.


Eric Sasson
The Geometry Forum
sasson@forum.swarthmore.edu





Date Subject Author
11/3/95
Read Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics (repost)
K. Ann Renninger
11/6/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Problem of the Week
11/6/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Tom Davis
11/7/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Michael Keyton
11/7/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Brian Hutchings
11/9/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Ken Wood
11/9/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Andrea Hall
11/9/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Katie Laird
11/9/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Katie Laird
11/10/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Steve Means
11/10/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Steve Means
11/10/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Andrea Hall
11/10/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Jim LaCasse
11/10/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Steve Means
11/11/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Andrea Hall
11/11/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Steve Means
11/11/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
John Burnette
11/12/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Lou Talman
11/13/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Tarin Bross
11/13/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Katie Laird
11/13/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathemaatics
Steve Means
11/13/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Kristina Lasher
11/14/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
David Weksler
11/14/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Jane Ehrenfeld
11/15/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Andrea Hall
11/16/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert,...
Robin J Healey
11/16/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert,...
Pat Ballew
11/17/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Johnny Hamilton
11/17/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Steve Means
11/19/95
Read Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathematics
Tarin Bross

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