>My point being - There is no such thing as a skills- >centric class turning out mathematically successful >students ignorant of reason and concept. We are not here >because previously most of our students were successful >with the mathematics but ignorant of the reason.
Don't strain yourself making this point. Nobody thinks that the effective way to teach is skills without concepts or concepts without skills. This is as pure a strawman argument is one could ever hope to see. Well, let me rephrase that: no competent person believes that the effective way to teach is skills without concepts or concepts without skills. The only case that I have personally ever seen of skills without concepts is in elementary school.
Recall that we have a system of elementary education in this country in which we require teachers to teach mathematics but we do not require them to know mathematics. Through no fault of their own, many teachers are put in a position of teaching a subject of which they are stone cold ignorant. The way many of them handle this sorry task is to compare, jot-by-jot, the marks on paper made by students to the marks on paper they find in their answer keys.
Since they have no concepts to impart, these teachers are reduced to walking their students through exercises in repetitive pattern recognition, and nothing more. This is why one so often hears complaints, sometimes by students sometimes by parents, about a teacher who expected to see, eg, 2+3=5 marking wrong a paper in which the student wrote 3+2=5. Perhaps I exaggerate, but only a little.
There is no theoretical basis for this situation. Nobody wrote a treatise recommending ignorance for teachers. Even the Education Mafia does not call for this, although just this sad state of affairs is the inevitable consequence of Education Mafia policy and practice.
The accusation that somebody out there, often disparaged by the Education Mafia as "traditionalists" or "anti-reformers" or "education deformers", actually likes and recommends this state of affairs is a crass political ploy by the Education Mafia to defend themselves by defaming others. Those others are you and me.
To fall into a debate over the merits of skills without concepts, and vice versa, is to play into their hand. Let's stick to the point. Let's recognize what the real problem is and let's put the blame where it really belongs.