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Topic: Other Foundations of Math secondary teachers?
Replies: 2   Last Post: Oct 14, 2005 9:09 PM

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Posts: 134
Registered: 1/25/05
Re: Other Foundations of Math secondary teachers?
Posted: Oct 14, 2005 9:09 PM
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On Fri, 14 Oct 2005 19:43:37 GMT, bh@abbenay.CS.Berkeley.EDU (Brian
Harvey) wrote:

>I think, too, that the original context of this thread has been lost among
>the big ideas. We are talking about a population of kids who have already
>failed at learning arithmetic. So we *know for sure* that more of the same
>is *not* going to do *these* kids any good. Maybe giving them some actual
>mathematics won't work either, for many of them, but maybe it will, and it
>certainly can't do any worse than yet another year of remedial arithmetic.

You are right again. I taught every grade, every level, and really
do understand the needs of kids who have great difficulties, or at
least have a good deal of experience dealing with them. They know who
they are better than we do. Most need hands-on, and math when they
need it applied to what they are doing immediately. However, I'd not
easily accept algebra as a viable option to more, and hopefully more
appropriate application. It's simply too abstract, and kids having
difficulty with numbers that they can see will have more difficulty
with algebra that they will never use in several lifetimes. More
exciting for the teacher, perhaps, but murder for them. Even kids
with moderate difficulty have more difficulty with algebra than
arithmetic. For all of the fact that *we* can see the connection,
they by and large can not.

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