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Topic: A Quote from Polya
Replies: 6   Last Post: Sep 8, 2012 7:15 PM

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Posts: 190
Registered: 12/3/04
RE: A Quote from Polya
Posted: Sep 8, 2012 7:15 PM
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Indeed, positive is good, but so is reality. It's a reality that too many
students leave school as mathematical illiterates. Say what you will about
tests, there's something wrong when the "passing" score is mere points
above random guessing. Who's fault? There's enough blame to go around.
However, teachers are going to be held accountable, and there will be
pressure from administrators - there already is. Teachers will have to
learn how to manage this situation.

In my view, the most positive thing we can do is acknowledge that this
accountability stage will be here for a while, and to learn how to cope
effectively. That means helping teachers focus more directly on the
curriculum and teaching students to take tests. This goal can be
accomplished, and it's going to make a difference in the professional lives
of teachers.

From: []
On Behalf Of Roberta M. Eisenberg
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 9:38 PM
Subject: Re: A Quote from Polya

Polya has many helpful problem solving strategies that are well worth
learning and teaching. They can apply to any type of problem even those not

I had hoped that the quote might be a positive way to start the year.

Bobbi E

On Sep 7, 2012, at 12:02 PM, Bob wrote:

It's a nice thought.

But what if a student finishes high school without even the most basic math
knowledge, or just doesn't finish.

Those teenagers are dumped into an unforgiving workplace with little hope.
Polya has nothing for them, nor, apparently, do we.

From: []
On Behalf Of Roberta M. Eisenberg
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 10:41 AM
Subject: A Quote from Polya

FYI - Some words of wisdom from the master problem solver. (Known for his
famous book, How to Solve It.)

Bobbi Eisenberg

Pedantry and mastery are opposite attitudes toward rules. To apply a rule to
the letter, rigidly, unquestioningly, in cases where it fits and in cases
where it does not fit, is pedantry ... . To apply a rule with natural ease,
with judgment, noticing the cases where it fits, and without ever letting
the words of the rule obscure the purpose of the action or the opportunities
of the situation, is mastery. -George Polya, professor of mathematics

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