Steve Posted: Jul 21, 2007 10:00 AM >Other thoughts?
There are other internet fora which focus on the pedagogical elements of teaching mathematics ("should you teach the LDA from left-to-right or from right-to-left"). It is my strong impression these fora are moribund, or very nearly so. They certainly operate at a much lower level of activity, which suggests their own members are not terribly interested in what is going on. This is only to be expected, as I have asserted a few times, because there really are no important unresolved pedagogical issues in teaching mathematics, especially at the K-12 level.
Rather, math education suffers because of larger issues in the political environment of teaching, i.e., issues beyond the classroom. And that is where the great strength of MATH-TEACH has been. MATH-TEACH has been a forum for exploring these larger environmental issues.
We all know what this forum's central problem is, and there is no use in averting our eyes from it. A very small number of MATH-TEACH participants, one person especially, has made it his business to poison the waters of MATH-TEACH by personally defaming everyone else, in the vilest possible terms. He does it volubly and relentlessly and almost invariably he succeeds in shutting down all debate. To say nothing of scaring off old and potential participants of this forum.