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Topic: Do things ever change?
Replies: 21   Last Post: Apr 4, 2008 12:47 PM

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Dave L. Renfro

Posts: 4,792
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Do things ever change?
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 5:52 PM
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Dave L. Renfro wrote (in part):

http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=6150199

> I find it very interesting how each generation seems
> to have its "traditionalists vs. reformists" battles.
> The same arguments are made each time, with little
> awareness (or at least, with virtually no explicit
> acknowledgment) that the same arguments had been
> raised over and over again in previous generations.
> Moreover, it often seems to me that each side invokes
> what I strongly suspect previous generations would
> claim are straw men.


I have a few minutes to comment right now, so I thought
I'd follow-up on what I posted yesterday. Over the
years I've sat through many in-service programs
and math program "pep rallies" in which all sorts
of claims were made about how new and original and
different the program was from "traditional teaching
methods". However, when I happen to read about educational
reforms in old journals, I see pretty much the same
criticism being levied against traditional teaching
methods and pretty much the same reform methods being
offered, at least if you factor out the effect of things
such as changing technology and the like. Thus, it's
not really the arguments themselves I find problematic,
but rather it's the near-sighted and often disingenuous
to actual history cheerleading tactics that some
proponents use. And no, I'm not talking about anyone
who posts here, but rather the kinds of promotional
selling arguments that were used in the in-service
(and other) programs I've sat through.

Dave L. Renfro



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