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Re: Learning and Mathematics: Papert, mathetics
Posted:
Nov 9, 1995 5:40 PM


>One can have a lecture style so brilliant it puts a performance by >Jack Nicholson to pale. You're still not teaching. The secret is to >pull the students into the learning process so completely, they >forget >that they are learning.
Hmm, this worries me a little bit. It seems to me, especially in mathematics, that being aware of one's learning process is one of the most important parts of learning math. For example, I know that when I learn multiplication, I need to memorize, yet when I learn to do geometry proofs, I need to be patient and try different approaches, knowing that the first might not work. If a teachers is trying to make it so painless that students don't know they're learning, then how will they ever be able to do it on their own? A teacher can not be ultimately responsible for a students' learning...the student must take that responsibility. Am I being too generous with what students are willing and able to do? I don't think so. > >The Plano school district went to the infamous BLOCK schedule. So >now math students receive 1 hr 20 minutes of lecture and then >a quiz!
While I do think that this may be a long time for a lecture, ending a lesson in a quiz is not necessarily a bad thing, leaving open the question of what the purpose of the quiz is. One of the biggest problems with the way our schools are set up in general, is that we never get a chance to synthesize what we have learned in one class before going on to the next class. A day runs together without any knowledge being concretized. I think this quiz at the end of a class is a means of consolidating knowledge acquired during the previous hour and twenty minutes. I agree that lecture is not sufficient, but the quiz could be a healthy addition to the way math is taught.
Katie Laird



