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Topic: Re: Mathematics and Learning: Polya
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 22, 1994 5:21 PM

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Walter Whiteley

Posts: 418
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Mathematics and Learning: Polya
Posted: Aug 22, 1994 11:20 AM
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It is true that only schematics versions of 'life problems'
lead to general mathematical theory.
However:
(a) the students bring 'life' into the classroom with them.
(b) the process of moving from life to the APPROPRIATE' schematic
is part of mathematics (applied mathematics).

Isn't there room for some movement in the class which involves some 'life'
(open-ended messy problems of potential complexity) and the theory?
Even when I think I have already done this - I have been struck by
what happens when students ('good students') try to work back from
the theory to a real, physical example. The experience reveals
a lot of misunderstanding. The learning which happens then seems
essential to a well-rounded course of mathematics.

Walter Whiteley
York University





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