
Re: New Post at RME: Who Was George Polya's Intended Audience? (Or More Mathema
Posted:
Jun 4, 2010 9:18 PM


Both J Groves and M P Goldenberg seem to be unaware that Polya wrote "How to solve it" for a general audience, and then wrote "Mathematics and plausible reasoning" for a much more highly trained audience. Thus the argument about the intended audience is just noise because of the failure to distinguish the two books.
Actually M & PR is two volumes, and there is a fourth book written after HtSI and before M&PR.
It is too bad that statements like "this claim is false" and "long overdue and clearly definitive retort" are posted without adequate knowledge.
On 6/4/2010 8:05 PM, Jonathan Groves wrote: > Dear All, > > Here is a link that Michael had sent me that shows their claim about > Polya's book intended for math majors or graduate students and not > K12 math students: > > http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=1479090&tstart=0. > > However, this claim is false since the introduction to Polya's book > "How to Solve It" clearly says that Polya wrote the book for all > teachers and students of mathematics. > > Section 1. Problem Solving in Mathematics. > > [snip] > > Though Johnson and Rising do not explictly mention what audience George > Polya intended for his book "How to Solve It," it is clear that they realize > his book was intended for all students and teachers of mathematics. > In short, Johnson and Rising believe that problem solving is an integral part of > EVERY math class, not just those in college with math majors or just classes for > "mathy" kids. And they realize that George Polya would agree wholeheartedly. > > Section 2. The New Math Era. > > [snip] > > Jonathan Groves > > On 6/2/2010 at 4:40 pm, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote: > >> Please read the latest post at >> RationalMathEd.blogspot.com: "Who Was George Polya's >> Intended Audience? (Or More Mathematically Correct >> Lies)" >> >> Excerpt: One of the more difficult aspects of wars, >> even ones where the main ammunition is words, is >> separating lies from facts. Every side in a war has a >> proclivity for propaganda. Inconvenient facts are >> brushed aside. Inaccuracies, petty or gross, become >> the coin of the realm. The Big Lie rules. >> >> Of course, sometimes, it is possible to sort through >> the fog of war to arrive at what appears to be >> incontrovertible truth. It may take years, even >> decades, to find the facts, even when they are >> readily available to anyone who bothers to look in >> the right place for them. Sometimes, they've been >> staring everyone in the face for a very long time. >> >> Thus, it is with no small embarrassment that I >> present a longoverdue and clearly definitive retort >> to one of the lies frequently promulgated a decade or >> so ago by Professor Wayne Bishop and some of his >> Mathematically Correct and HOLD antiprogressive >> allies, namely that George Polya's work on heuristic >> methods (from the Greek "???????" for "find" or >> "discover": an adjective for experiencebased >> techniques that help in problem solving, learning and >> discovery) was intended only for graduate students or >> perhaps undergraduate mathematics majors, not for the >> general student of mathematics, and certainly not for >> high school students or younger children. >> >> Of course, in the Math Wars, it is of the utmost >> importance to the counterrevolutionaries and >> antiprogressives that nothing that broadens access >> to mathematics be allowed to stand unchallenged or >> unsullied. Any curriculum, pedagogy, tool, etc., that >> is brought forward by reformers as "worth trying" >> must be smashed. That has been the tireless task of >> members of groups like Mathematically Correct and >> HOLD: to undermine any and all efforts to change what >> they view as immutable approaches to the teaching and >> learning of mathematics. >> >> Read the entire post at: http://tinyurl.com/2bl5f7r

Martin C. Tangora tangora (at) uic.edu

