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Topic: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Replies: 25   Last Post: Jul 23, 2009 10:43 AM

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Kirby Urner

Posts: 4,713
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Posted: Jul 22, 2009 8:44 PM
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> Yes, I agree, Lou. I have been uncomfortable with
> that chess analogy (and he is the one using it).
> However, maybe Kirby, who is more conversant with
> Wittgenstein than I am, can comment on this, as I
> believe Ludwig liked to make analogies grounded in
> chess as well. Perhaps that was even Keith Devlin's
> inspiration.
>


So I'm attempting to butt in as a world authority on
Wittgenstein (OK, so I'm a fan, let's leave it at that),
to say "what analogy?" i.e. we could easily take chess
as an end in itself, like Herman Hesse's 'Glass Bead
Game' but not so exclusive and inward-turned. So then
the only question is whether chess is "mathematical"
enough to be considered "mathematics" to which I say
yes, but then who asked me?

This idea that symbolic manipulation is about "problem
solving" in some analogous domain is what gets trucked
out by the pure mathematicians when they want to remind
us that their purist language games are "applicable",
whereas among peers no one cares about that. Math games
are fun "in themselves" and we should teach that in the
high schools if we wanna explain about motivation (given
a lot of 'em play chess, that shouldn't be too hard).

Hey, on another topic, sort of, I had this olive branch
for Haim that didn't make it through, so at least let me
give a link to where the "education mafia" rears its ugly
head, in my own political lobbying (which is gaining in
strength & momentum, thanks to out-of-state help, but
not discounting indigenous talent, which is considerable).

http://controlroom.blogspot.com/2009/07/merit-pay.html

Kirby

PS: thanks to Anna Roys for bringing the thread to my
attention. As I don't subscribe through email, it's easy
for me to miss stuff like this, not that that's critical.

> I am also not so sure that if the chess analogy DOES
> hold up better than I think, that there isn't a way
> to turn it on its head if it turns out, as I suspect
> is the case, that some people teach or learn chess in
> ways that differ from the, "Okay, these are the names
> of the pieces, and here's how they move, but don't
> worry about much else" perspective. Naturally,
> analogies are never perfect, nor need they be. But in
> this case, the more I read of Davydov's work and
> other folks trying to build a neo-Vygotskian approach
> to teaching elementary mathematics, the more I
> suspect there are some fundamental considerations
> from that work that should be brought to bear on how
> we teach a lot of things to kids. It seems a little
> ironic, in that regard, that we have the column under
> discussion from Devlin and also the ones about
> Davydov's work more recently from him, and there may
> just be a bit of a contradiction.
>
> Or maybe it's just our source here for these Devlin
> columns, who has rarely met an idea he can't
> misunderstand to his own purposes. It turns out that
> everything ever written agrees with him, and if not,
> can be tormented into agreeing.
>
> Quoting Louis Talman <talmanl@gmail.com>:
>



Date Subject Author
7/16/09
Read Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Paul A. Tanner III
7/16/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/16/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Paul A. Tanner III
7/17/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/17/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Robert Hansen
7/17/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Paul A. Tanner III
7/18/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/17/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Joshua Fisher
7/17/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/18/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Joshua Fisher
7/17/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Robert Hansen
7/19/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Joshua Fisher
7/20/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Jonathan Groves
7/20/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Louis Talman
7/20/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/20/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Jonathan Groves
7/20/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Michael Paul Goldenberg
7/20/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Paul A. Tanner III
7/21/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Jonathan Groves
7/21/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Paul A. Tanner III
7/22/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Bob Greer
7/22/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Dave L. Renfro
7/22/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Kirby Urner
7/23/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Paul A. Tanner III
7/23/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Jonathan Groves
7/23/09
Read Re: Do we always have to teach for conceptual understanding?
Dave L. Renfro

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