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Topic: Chapter 4--Everybody Counts
Replies: 8   Last Post: Mar 26, 1995 11:12 PM

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Tad Watanabe

Posts: 442
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Chapter 4--Everybody Counts
Posted: Mar 23, 1995 12:08 PM
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On Thu, 23 Mar 1995, Lawrence C. Lacher wrote:

> > 3. What should be the principal goal of elementary school mathematics?
> > What should be the principal goal of secondary school mathematics?

> The principle goal---mmm, let's see---I imagine the principle goal of
> elementary school mathematics is building the basic skills so that the
> student is able to study mathematics on the secondary level. And on the
> secondary level, I see the principal goal as--well I see two goals that
> are equally important, so I'll have to list them both. One is making
> sure the students are actually able to do the mathematics, and the other
> is fostering a sense of mathemtics as a pure science (and not something
> that you necessarily have to apply to something concrete in order to give
> it meaning--and in this way, hopefully cut down on the number of students
> who say "When am I actually going to use this?")

So, how are you going to answer elementary students who ask, "When am I
actually going to use this?" Why can't the principal goal of secondary
school math is "building the basic skills so that the student is able to
study mathematics on the college level"?

> And while I have your attention, here's something I've been thinking
> about lately and if anybody has any thoughts on the matter, I'd like to
> hear them. It seems here in New York State, in an attempt to integrate
> the mathematics courses, we renamed Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II/Trig
> as Sequential Math Course I, Course II, and Course III respectively. Now
> I believe in the merits of integrating the courses, but I find the new
> titles fairly sterile. Isn't it more exciting (and meaningful) to take a
> course called Geometry than Sequential Math Course II?

But, if the course does include significant amount of topics outside of
geometry, isn't it misleading to call it "Geometry"?

* Tad Watanabe e-mail *
* Dept. of Mathematics *
* Towson State University watanabe-t@towsonvx.bitnet *
* Towson, MD 21204 *
* (410) 830 - 3585 (410) 830 - 4149 FAX *

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