
Re: Andre's interpretation of my words.
Posted:
Jan 28, 1997 12:00 PM


On Tue, 28 Jan 1997, Judith E. Jacobs wrote:
> I would like you to qoute to me where I said that I am > against relating to mathematics as an abstract science. > I do not mean your interpretation of what I said. I mean my words. > Why is it that Tad and others understood that I was talking about > what students think. I am tired of your misconstruing what people say. > You use your interpretation of their words and then insult them.
You wrote: "If solving problems is a reason to know mathematics and you present me with problems in which 1) you know the answer if you know the data or 2) relate to mathematics as an abstract science, and neither of these concern me, then why would I want to learn mathematics."
It was your choice to use the pronouns `me' and `I'. I am not misconstruing or even construing. I am just taking your choice of words at face value. I am convinced that choice of words is important.
> I also find it interesting that you have not commented on my last two > posts. They specifically address how one can, and I do, have students > relate to mathematics abstractly. Also, My "image" (your word) of > students is based on many years of interaction with them and the > stories of classroom teachers. It is not how I desire them to be and > I work very hard at getting them to expand their view of mathematics.
I understand that you mean your idea to speak to students about the sequential generalization of arithmetical operations from natural numbers to integer, rational, real, complex numbers, then to general algebraic structures. I find this theme especially inappropriate for educational purposes. If I were your student, I would not be inspired by this. To students of what level are you going to speak about all that? Elementary, middle, high, undergraduate, graduate?
Andre Toom Department of Mathematics toom@thecollege.iwctx.edu University of the Incarnate Word Tel. 2106460500 (h) 4301 Broadway 2108293170 (o) San Antonio, Texas 782096318 Fax 2108293153

