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Topic: Perils of Modern Math Education
Replies: 19   Last Post: Jun 21, 2007 8:44 PM

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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Perils of Modern Math Education
Posted: Jun 20, 2007 5:01 PM
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Proving once again that Wayne can't distinguish between the field of
mathematics as pursued by professional mathematicians and K-14
mathematics education. It's for this very reason that he, Dom, and so
many others continue to get just about everything about K-8 math
teaching in particular so badly and completely wrong and why they and
those who can only think in limited ways about what mathematics is
and what it's for need to keep out of arenas where their lack of
understanding distorts their views and biases them utterly against
those who know these arenas and have the kinds of skills, experience,
and, yes, education, necessary (if not sufficient) for judging how to
better teach kids.

Sadly, nothing I or anyone, regardless of credentials, be it Alan
Schoenfeld or Hyman Bass or Judy Roitman, or Alan and Tom Tucker, or
Jerry Uhl, etc., has or could possibly say or do would keep Wayne &
Company from gumming up the works. It's pathetic, it's an enormous
drag on making things better, and in Wayne's case injects enormous
hatred and bile into what might have been an enlightening
collaboration between research mathematics and mathematics education.
Not that these two areas must be kept separate, as evidenced by the
fine contributions of those mathematicians I've mentioned, along with
many others, to improving K-14 mathematics teaching and learning, but
the negative input from people with Wayne's mindset is debilitating
and unnecessary.

If one were to speak of curricula for, say, physics, in the same
terms as Stuart Wachowicz speaks of math curricula, you'd be laughed
at. Some concepts become outdated or are of interest more for
historical value than anything else. I fear that while it's true that
one could teach anything with the idea of promoting deep
understanding of mathematical thinking, choices do have to be made in
a finite school term (as Wayne usually likes to point out when it
suits him).

But what else is new?

On Jun 20, 2007, at 2:53 PM, Wayne Bishop wrote:

> Excellent, Dom. Thanks,
> Wayne
> 05:35 AM 6/20/2007, Domenico Rosa wrote:

>> The entire article is at:
>> ==================
>> Perils of Modern Math Education
>> by Stuart Wachowicz
>> "Pride in craftsmanship obligates the mathemati-
>> cians of one generation to dispose of the unfinished
>> business of their predecessors."
>> -E.T. Bell, The Last Problem
>> The above statement most accurately describes the
>> legacy of one generation of mathematicians to the next.
>> However, on might be tempted to ponder whether this
>> will continue to be possible in North America. The dis-
>> cipline of mathematics, as we have known it, is clearly
>> under threat. The threat is a consequence of allowing curriculum
>> writers to change the centuries-old definition of mathematics and
>> what needs to be learned based on utilitarianism, combined with
>> the current practice of allowing unproven fads to influence pedagogy.
>> ...


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