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Topic: re: beyond lecturing
Replies: 2   Last Post: Jun 30, 1995 6:59 PM

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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
re: beyond lecturing
Posted: Jun 30, 1995 4:07 PM
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On Fri, 30 Jun 1995 Lutemann@aol.com wrote:

> How many teachers out there try to each their students to be self-sufficient?
> Why can't the students be taught to read the book or books and learn the
> subject on their own? I have found that students who learn to read and
> understand the math text go way beyond the rest of the class. Has anyone
> done much with this?
>
> Kent
>

I don't know what level of mathematics you're talking about (and perhaps
it really doesn't matter, but in my unhappy experience, the majority of
university mathematics teachers are simply reading a synopsis of the
textbook out of their notes when they lecture: definition, theorem,
proof, repeated in an interminable stream for the entirety of the period.
Once in a blue moon, there's some motivation; of course, the occasional
"pause for questions" (Arethereanyquestions?No?Good.The next theorem. .
.) shouldn't be forgotten. So the suggestion that students who can learn
from the book will fare best has an ironic component that perhaps you
don't intend to convey.

Further, your post raises a further question: why
bother to have teachers at all? Let's face it: the kids who are serious
are going to do the work, in and out of class. The others are slackers
who probably will wind up in a job where the most demanding question
they'll have to deal with is "Could you Supersize that, please?" Why
should we knock ourselves out with cooperative learning, student-centered
classrooms, and other pedagogical approaches that require thought,
effort, and constant reflection and revision on our part when most of the
students are too intellectually (and probably morally) bankrupt to
benefit from our efforts?

[Anyone not familiar with my ideas might want to down a Supersized
portion of NaCl with that previous paragraph.]


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Michael Paul Goldenberg
University of Michigan 310 E. Cross St.
4001 School of Education Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259 (313) 482-9585
(313) 747-2244 email: mikegold@umich.edu

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