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Topic: Fractals
Replies: 29   Last Post: May 9, 1995 10:14 AM

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Tad Watanabe

Posts: 442
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Fractals
Posted: May 8, 1995 9:53 AM
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I guess we have reached the point of fundamental disagreement. I do not
make such a generalization that disucssion of "advanced" topic is a
disguise for teacher's inability to teach.... I don't know how you can
get to such a conclusion after reading so many of very thoughtful
responses in this list.

I have no disagreement that problem solving is important, and there are
many interesting and worthwhile problems within arithmetic. And, I have
no objection to including those interesting problems in place of many
meaningless skills [when I say "meaningless," this is in reference to a
particular child at a particular juncture of his/her mathematical
learning - not a general condemnation of those skills].

I wonder what the real problems of your college students are. You seem
to think it is the kind of teaching that include discussion of fractals
and other interesting "advanced" mathematics ideas because teachers
cannot teach the basic arithmetic. Is it really the case? Have you
asked, systematically, your students what their k-12 mathematics
teaching/learning was like?

Tad Watanabe
Towson State University
Towson, Maryland

On Mon, 8 May 1995, Andrei TOOM wrote:
> I am sure that in many cases discussion of fractals or something
> `advanced' like that in middle schools actually is a disguise
> for the teacher's inability to teach students to solve
> elementary, but substantial problems.

> snip snip snip

> I do not agree with you, and this is important.
> Arithmetics IS mathematics, or, more exactly, can be.
> There are very good arithmetical problems and every human being
> in this century MUST go through an experience of SOLVING
> (rather than just DISCUSSING) them.
> Too many of my (college) students have not had enough of
> this experience and this seems to be the main root of
> their further difficulties.
> Andrei

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