On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 05:44:47 GMT, Kevin Karplus <email@example.com> wrote:
>I would argue that basic statistics is more important than many of the >other concepts that are taught in math classes (certainly more >important than ruler-and-compass constructions).
But neither should compasses anr ruler constructions be taugth at that age, and for the same reasons.
> Every citizen who >votes should be able to read a bar chart and a scatter diagram, and >should understand why talking about "average income" is highly >misleading.
We are talking about 5-yr olds here, not "citizens". They can meet the concept later on with a more mature mind [piaget again] and handle it a lot more readily ...if they are prepared otherwise. What is lacking in the philosophy that anything can be taught at any time if it is made simple enough is that the time spent on the "elements" of many topics could be better spent on the time to learn variations of, and then at least some mastery of fewer topics of more general application. All we are seeing is a new name for what was once called "The spiral approach to learning." which simply failed, as students did *not* retain what they had learned in order to continue from the point left, and which then reuired much, and continuous review ...and still does. It's like reading a large book by taking a few words form each chapter, and then he next day a few more. Surely it is better from beginning to end without interrrupion.