> Another request for clarification. What do you mean by "basic cluture."
By basic culture I mean first of all ability to understand plain English (or another mother tongue). One of our teachers of remedial courses of algebra said a wise thing: when her students could not solve word problems, she discussed this situation with them and they had to admit that they could not read. (I hope you understand what it means.)
> And, how do you know the "best" way is by solving word problems?
Of course, I cannot prove it as a theorem. I am convinced based on my experience.
> I also don't understand what you meant by "promotional goals."
I mean trying to sell.
> Who are you talking about?
> I really don't see anything wrong with students exploring > interesting (for them) mathematics. That seems to be, at > least, as good as solving a collection of word problems.
There is nothing better than students exploring interesting for them mathematics. Andrei