
Re: Math Forum and the mathteach discussion
Posted:
Jul 21, 2007 2:55 PM


My feeling has long been that it would be good to have a list called "mathteach" focused squarely on what the name implies: teaching mathematics. Posts not related to the teaching of mathematics could be placed on a parallel list. Victor Steinbok started such a list years ago, called "mathpolemic" or something similar. But it didn't draw much action and most certainly didn't keep polemics off of THIS list, which I'm pretty sure was the purpose.
Since it's clear that the Math Forum neither has the resources nor the desire to police this list, there are only a few reasonable options:
1) the status quo  those who find the heat on mathteach excessive should get out of the kitchen. As Kirby pointed out, there are many other fine lists people may join that are different in a host of ways from this one.
2) Richard's suggestion of two lists as noted above. Clearly, voluntary agreement to keep polemics off the teaching list and vice versa, with gentle reminders from members to violators, be the violations intentional or accidental, would be the way to go. But for it to work, based on history, Math Forum has to be willing to look at legitimate complaints about repeat violators and deal with them. Otherwise, this becomes a complete was of time.
3) Someone has to volunteer to become the list moderator. A revision or restatement of the purposes and foci of the list, appropriate policies for posting, etc., and the moderator must have the option of suspending and banning violators. Obviously, this makes the list slow, and unless the moderator is wellchosen, acts wisely (and has a hell of a lot of spare time and patience), this is a potentially list destroying or crippling option.
I can live with any of the above. My preferences are 2, 1, 3 in order of first to last, but I really am fine however it goes. There are other lists. And when it comes to arguing politics, be it the politics of education, math education, or anything else, there are lots and lots of places to fight, both lists and blogs aplenty to suit any taste.
Maybe a fourth option would be to change the name of this list to mathdogfight. :)
On Jul 21, 2007, at 2:29 PM, Domenico Rosa wrote:
> Richard Strausz wrote: >> >> My solution  one that would require minimal staff >> time: >> >> Subdivide the math teach into two parts: >> >> 1. one that focuses on teaching math >> 2. one that allows discussions on all other >> education issues. > > In my opinion, this list shoud be kept asis and continue to permit > uncensored, open discussions about all issues related to > mathematics education.
I think the clear problem is that there are very few discussions and only a smattering of threads that clearly focus on mathematics education. And with the name being mathteach, there aren't many fights, arguments, or debates about mathematics TEACHING at all. Kind of odd.
An alternate list that might more accurately fit the foci of some members would be mathtexts. It's clear that for some members, that's what most things are about, after all. > > Dom Rosa > >

