Jim Posted: Jul 21, 2007 8:41 PM >There are some here that believe the above statement to >be patently false.
The people who believe my statement is patently false have options. The obvious one is that there already exist and have existed, as I previously stated, fora for discussing pedagogy. Visit one or two, and you will find them very slow. Just take a look at the list of fora at http://mathforum.org/kb/forumcategory.jspa?categoryID=24 all of them inactive. And I seem to recall a couple of fora whose purpose was to discuss issues in Terc mathematics. Some time ago I thought they were moribund and, having just looked for them, I cannot even find them, anymore.
MATH-LEARN is gamely plodding along, but it is no hotbed of new pedagogical ideas. Evidently, there are a lot of people, like you, who think there are important open questions of math pedagogy, they just cannot seem to produce any.
Furthermore, if you wanted to raise a pedagogical issue in this forum, you would run into no impediment save, possible, a lack of response, just as in all the other fora. You would almost certainly get no response from me, and you might get some disagreement from others but, (a) presumably discussion is what you came for, and (b) no one on my side would be questioning the legitimacy of your birth. There is no problem from my side of the aisle for anyone conducting whatever debate he might care for.
>And then there are those who thoroughly believe that >statement to be true (as Haim clearly does). There can >be no true discussion when one (or both) side(s) feel >they have the Truth.
There does not have to be. When this forum still had more than six active participants, not every one participated in every discussion. You could be busy in a pedagogy thread while I could be busy on a school funding thread. Different people could be involved in different "threads". Why is that a problem?
>There will be a lot of shouting and name-calling, as we >have seen, but little real conversation.
The "shouting" and name-calling has one ultimate source, and we all know who he is.
>I, for one, ask only for a place to converse with >people searching for better ways to teach content where >the participants are open to new ideas. In this forum >it often feels more like I am trying to convert someone >from their religion.
Yea, being forced to make your case, with evidence and logic, can feel that way. It is often sobering to realize that a cherished belief is actually based on nothing. The "Vast Underfunding" thread is a good example of that. Because of a highly successful propaganda campaign of many years, many people are sincerely convinced that our public schools are "vastly underfunded", and it is a terrible shock to realize, when confronted, that all the evidence points the other way.
>Ideally, in my mind, this forum would only be open to >people open to changing their mind on occasion (not >that they have to - just be open to the possibility). >That is about as possible as the Pope converting to >Islam tomorrow, so I am fresh out of ideas. I am >curious to see what develops.
You ask for too much. All we can reasonably ask for is true forensic debate. Indeed, we should insist upon it.