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Topic: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Replies: 26   Last Post: Oct 7, 2011 12:19 PM

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kirby urner

Posts: 1,753
Registered: 11/29/05
Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Posted: Oct 1, 2011 3:27 PM
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On Sat, Oct 1, 2011 at 9:55 AM, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> wrote:
> Kirby wrote...
>
> "I would hazard that far more become unhappy in their work
> because they were counting on some API to carry them
> forward to retirement, and then all of a sudden their
> language dies or is no longer in demand and they can
> no longer stomach feeling like a rank beginner again."
>
> Yeah there are those types also, that become too complacent. But I was commenting on the type that thinks they can touch briefly on many things and not be very good at any one thing. To combine these ideas we could say that you have to be good and be good at new things as they come. It takes work and devotion to keep up.
>


Indeed. I think Dr. Knuth maybe had the right idea: at the very
least, delve deeply into at least two things. Even if outwardly you
only have a Doctor of Philosophy in field A, invest in field B with
equal passion and dedication, and have field B be quite far afield
from field A (example: computer science and theology). I think he
was onto something. We can't all be Bucky, with eleven Doctors of
Philosophy or whatever it was, but we don't have to be
hyper-specialist silo-heads either.

>
> Kirby wrote...
>
> "Yes, a lot of those 1950s born are still among us..."
>
> I wasn't talking about them at all, I was talking about the class of 2010 and 2011. I was talking about the boys we hired out of college just last week, and the previous week. In fact, the majority of women in these fields are actually from the 80's it seems. There was a time in the 90's when there was an increase and then very rapidly they just disappeared. As if a plague struck. Afterwards, a trickle of women and those from before (the 70's and 80's) were all that was left. I have commented on this before and it wasn't just women it was men also. There was a time when there was a flood of IT candidates that found themselves in jobs much more demanding than what the colleges had thought IT was and these employees disliked their jobs much and left.
>


Yes, I don't think the IT field is properly packaged to be appealing
to a lot of talented people, many of them women with more to lose if
teaming up with closed / ingrown mostly male packs (that glass ceiling
can be awfully real sometimes, you can hear it between the lines).

That's been changing with the Web, as more art and design are entering
into it.

My CTO is in her forties, is female, and has a lot of fashion and
design sense, which many ethnicities classify as not-science, even
though there's a kind of science to running Vogue or Vanity Fair or
whatever.

If you were new in our company, you'd wonder why she was CTO whereas
I'm chief of marketing -- don't we have that backwards? Sometimes I
wear one of her cuffkas, to show I'm in her corner (she snagged the
domain name and mapped it herself, a simple routine, not like she's
not savvy (she spends a lot of time in Paris)).

We have other top ranking back office females too, but the CIO is a
guy, knows casinos (we're something like an off shore gambling agency,
per open source business plans, along with the Catholic Church
(bingo!)). Might explain why Casino Math is in my Heuristics for
Teachers (DM track writings on Wikieducator, copyleft by yours truly).
The CSO (chief of security) is a male as well, lots of bio in my
journals.

>
> Kirby wrote...
>
> "That TED talk about "the end of men" gives some of the
> spin (a "heads up" you might say, or "advance notice")."
>
> Women have always been busy working like men, I wasn't suggesting that they weren't. Even those that stay home and raise a family are performing no small task. I said that men and women seem to be good at and good with different things, and sometimes the same things. And they seem to be choosing the things they want to do.
>


Yes, and men have been busy working like women, no question. Men
doing at home education with their kids include my friend Patrick,
highly trained in IT and management, veteran of government labs,
married to a PhD chemist or something of that nature (she's also
Chippawa I think it is, or is it Cherokee?). He's doing Japanese
immersion with his two kids. This is a guy who'd pull down $100K easy
in earlier chapters, no slouch by a long shot, and qualified for top
jobs in Oregon. She (his betrothed and housemate) has the "day job"
these days while he does home schooling (plus the kids go to public
school, which is taught in the Japanese language a lot, this being a
Pacrim state and all that).

>
> Kirby wrote...
>
> "...One could easily imagine
> a planet wherein the humans there considered it
> one discipline. Our sense of "purity" might be
> violated, but why should Planet Earth always
> call the shots? Not in my book it doesn't."
>
> One can imagine anything. I am here to discuss reality, not fantasy, and I appreciate you making the distinction.
>


It's a common rhetorical trick in philosophy, inheriting from
Wittgenstein and others, to imagine a fictional world as an excuse to
do philological dissections. Nietzsche got the ball rolling, with his
deep suspicions about language. It's been "the linguistic turn" ever
since according to Rorty (my thesis adviser at Princeton).

> Kirby wrote...
>
> "You are clearly a product of your cultural matrix and should
> be forgiven your biases. Invoking a deity and notions of
> purity has a somewhat neo-Victorian flavor, more what
> I'd expect from a puritanical state (lots of snow birds
> influence the politics there right? I used to live in Bradenton)."
>
> Actually, when I said math (and music) was "god made" I simply meant that they are facets of nature and not man made. Nothing about deities and queens. Math and music are nature, are you saying they aren't?
>


Man is not man made either so the distinction is entirely bogus.
Humans don't even grow their own fingernails let alone know how their
thinking arises. They're clueless clods of dirt, just like always.

That being said, I'd say both mathematics and music are expressions of
human inventiveness, so to the extent we want to give these creatures
credit for anything, which should give them their math and their
music.

>
> Kirby wrote...
>
> "the same way. We get down to STEM, maybe add
> Anthropology for STEAM and then we stop trying to
> further specialize too much."
>
> My son is in the STEAM club at school, same concept except they added Art instead of Anthropology. I am kind of like Haim in this regard, I let them (the school) do their thing and I do my thing. It's not like I could change them or anything and besides, if a big battle comes up I have all my furry in reserve, I haven't wasted it on a bunch of little battles.
>


That's fine to play it that way. My daughter (taking the SAT at the
moment -- when in Rome...) is doing well in public high school. She's
been asked back to genetics lab next summer for pay, so impressed were
they with her dedication and willingness to master lab skills. She'd
make a dynamite bioengineer, but of course the price gouger
hyper-specialists want to get to her first. I'm motivated to network
with contemporaries to negotiate a better deal for our younger
generations. Enter the Global U, a spin on Fuller's Spaceship Earth
concept. We continue using that syllabus for many good reasons I
won't go into in detail. Thank you Cleveland High, for using the map.
Some of the blogs have been awesome.

In this thread, I spell out more about that Global U and how it
includes learning facilities such as the one on Stark Street. Someone
driving by might say, "there's that Kirby again, playing word games, as
that's really a church". But in what way is a church not a learning
center, and besides, we don't call it a church nor even claim it as
Christian (some do, but they're mostly in a dying middle class lifestyle
that just doesn't know better). It's not a "game" in the sense I
don't mean what I'm saying (I do). I'm just not obligated to use my
extensive vocabulary towards precisely the same ends as the King of
England for example. I'm not his obedient servant and my language
(the one I'm using) does not belong to him in any greater degree than
it does to me. He is not "more entitled" to his meanings than I to
mine.

>
> Kirby wrote...
>
> "You say it's an analogy, but that's cultural too. We have
> this idea that a mathematician should be able to think
> about slicing something into exact thirds, but having
> the physical coordination to do so, quickly and accurately,
> with a sharp knife, is considered *not* a mathematical
> skill -- because of culture (ethnicity)."
>
> That's not at all what I think when I hear the word "mathematician". Anyone else here think that?
>


You mean the "cutting in thirds" part? I'm being somewhat
abbreviated, because I've made these same points so exhaustively
already, but it is a cultural stereotype in many ethnicities, that
"mathematics" is a desk bound activity, with "pure mathematicians"
likely not built like the cat woman or good on the trapeze. We have a
circus and we have roles. Clowns might do juggling, but usually not
trapeze. Lion tamers shouldn't clown as the animals stay serious.
Division of labor occurs.

All I'm saying is it's part of the responsibility of a curriculum
writer to either cultivate or disrupt these various characterizations
(role models, stereotypes).

Textbooks tend to be rather bland in this regard, giving sidebar
treatment to a lot of dead people with funny hair. The movies do more
to cast contemporary role models, such as in 'Titanic' or 'Jurrasic
Park'. Both these Hollywood blockbusters feature engineers of various
types, though in the former (about the ship) only at the start and the
finish, with all neo-Victorians (highly classist) in between, during
the flash back, a bad trip to say the least.

My Rad Math teaching (locally prosecuted) deliberately plays with role
modeling and fashion (hence the wrist cuffka, which has a zipper
pocket).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17157315@N00/6158134778/in/photostream/

We're not just trying to fit some mold of some middle class school
teachers pushing run of the mill swill. I've logged about all this
extensively already and don't think dismissing it as word play makes
the grade, because we're actually walking this talk, not just spinning
stories. Real people, real times and places. Far more than many
others here dare share.

So when it comes to establishing a track record, with nuts and bolts
exhibits, I think I'm not second banana to that many other reformers
(yes, some I'd gladly sit at the feet of, to absorb wisdom, no
kidding -- including fellow office holders).

That being said, my venues have been as respectable as any: Oregon
Graduate Institute, Reed College, Portland State... with lots of teens
going through. I've published pictures and write-ups and then, as
recounted up top, turned to the business of working more with the
parents.

Based on how long ago I started, I'm really still working with the
same kids. The reforms I was looking at when at McGraw-Hill in the
1980s, are some of the same ones I was sharing with the Shuttleworth
Foundation at our summit in Kensington (London) for older kids in
South Africa, and am now sharing in Portland with younger adults.
It's the same generation the whole time (I haven't changed my focus,
just we've all gotten older together).

> Kirby wrote...
>
> "I think "amalgam" is just as appropriate."
>
> But it is still word play.
>
> Bob Hansen
>
>


It's word play, but not only word play. We vector stuff around. Real
food to real kitchens.

People might say it's not mathematics, all this talk about
microbiology and energy transformations, electrical grids, power
sources, fish runs, truckology (trucking) -- the kinds of puzzles
(story problems) we work daily and nightly on solving (e.g. Asian
restaurants to supply diesel fuel).

Then in the math labs we use object oriented thinking and operator
overloading, without asking permission of hyper-specialists who don't
do that. We think they're behind the times and say so. We compete.

The next step is more Rotation (per my dialog with Dr. Renfro). I'm
talking about international student exchange at this point, with
opportunities to serve in many cities.

That's ambitious but then we're simply following already well worn
treads in some ways. We've already hosted a Japanese exchange student
here, and now have this faculty person for a longer period. As far as
my own campus facility goes, we're already in business.

Kirby


Date Subject Author
9/20/11
Read Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
kirby urner
9/22/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Martisa Vignali
9/23/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
kirby urner
9/22/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Robert Hansen
9/23/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Dave L. Renfro
9/26/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
kirby urner
9/26/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Haim
9/27/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
kirby urner
9/26/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Dave L. Renfro
9/26/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Haim
9/26/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
kirby urner
9/26/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Robert Hansen
9/27/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Scott Gray
9/27/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Bishop, Wayne
9/27/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Haim
9/29/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
GS Chandy
9/29/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
GS Chandy
9/29/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
kirby urner
9/29/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
GS Chandy
9/30/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
GS Chandy
9/30/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Robert Hansen
9/30/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Robert Hansen
9/30/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
kirby urner
10/7/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
GS Chandy
10/1/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
GS Chandy
10/1/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
Robert Hansen
10/2/11
Read Re: Continuing Education for Math Teachers (gnu math)
kirby urner

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