
Re: Getting students to take responsibility
Posted:
Oct 17, 1995 11:29 AM


Dan Hart writes: snip... >How did you learn, Mike? You're obviously very learned. Is your education a >hoax? How did we all learn with this awful pedagogy we tolerated? I really >think the NCTM needs to prove its assertions. There's a world of educated >mathematicians and nonmathematicians who are evidence of my position. > >Hart
You are right, Dan, most of us learned mathematics in just the way you describe. That is the problem. The fact is that only about 20% of those in school (K12) end up with some measure of mathematical success and literacy. Things have not gotten much better or worse in terms of what kids learn about mathematics and the percentage of the general population whom we would describe as "mathematically literate". What has changed drastically is the **need** to know mathematics beyond arithmetic and to formulate and model problems quantitatively. The fact is, there is a glut of Ph.D. mathematicians (ask them how easy it is to get a job). There is, on the other hand, a shortage of people in the general population who can reason quantitatively, think logically, and apply their knowledge to problems which they have not previously encountered. (Incidentally, there also seems to be a shortage of math educators at the Ph.D. level, at least ones with public school experience). In short, the results of the traditional approach have been dismal for a long time, but it is only recently that those results have caused any concern.
H^2 ****************************************************************** * Howard L. Hansen * Phone: (309) 2982275 * * Assistant Professor * Fax: (309) 2982585 * * Mathematics Education * Email: mfhlh@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu * * Western Illinois University * WIU Math Ed Resource Web site: * * Macomb, IL 61455 * http://www.uxa.ecn.bgu/users/ * * * mimath/wiu/mero/homepage.html * ******************************************************************

