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Topic: Mathematician
Replies: 28   Last Post: Oct 15, 2010 8:47 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 6,922
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Mathematician
Posted: Oct 8, 2010 10:06 AM
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Jonathan Groves posted (GSC's remarks follow):
> On 9/8/2010 at 12:04 am, Wayne Bishop wrote:
>

> > At 12:43 PM 10/7/2010, Jonathan Groves wrote:
> > >Wayne,
> > >
> > >So any form of inquiry-based learning is not

> honest?
> > Just because some
> > >teachers botch it by either taking it way too far
> or
> > using it
> > >inappropriately or otherwise not using such
> learning
> > techniques skillfully
> > >proves that inquiry-based learning does not work,
> > that such learning must
> > >be fake?
> >
> > No, but too much of it is. And any of it mandated

> by
> > the state or
> > nation by decree, by financial support of

> curricula,
> > or by
> > unconventional assessments (not verified to

> correlate
> > with future
> > success in the discipline) most definitely is.

> Thanks
> > for asking,
> >
> > Wayne

>
>
> Wayne,
>
> Certainly mandating discovery learning in these ways
> is a bad idea
> because it is not essential to good teaching and
> because it is
> easy to botch in the hands of inexperienced teachers.
> Teachers who
> do not feel comfortable using discovery learning
> should think
> twice before trying to use it. In short, discovery
> learning can
> be a useful approach to teaching and can be highly
> beneficial to
> students, but it is not essential to good teaching.
> And, like
> any approach to teaching, discovery learning is best
> seen as
> something that can augment teaching and learning and
> does not
> have to be seen as an "all or nothing" approach.
> Johnson and
> Rising's book "Guidelines for Teaching Mathematics"
> does not
> mention much about discovery learning, but they do
> point out that
> discovery learning is not appropriate in certain
> cases. It would
> be good if they had mentioned more specifics such as
> discovery
> learning is not appropriate for those ideas that
> would require
> a mathematical genius or near genius to discover with
> little or
> no assistance from the teacher or from others who
> already know
> those ideas. Perhaps the authors felt that such
> comments are
> not necessary. But they are necessary for those who
> want to
> try to push discovery learning too far. Any teaching
> method,
> whether discovery learning or anything else, used to
> extremes
> leads to problems.
>
> Jonathan Groves
>

A very sound and commonsensical approach indeed! I've not read Johnson and Rising's book that you have referred to, but it appears to represent that commonsensical approach for which we should all strive.

GSC



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