On Sat, Oct 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM, Robert Hansen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> It is the same fallacy. Gattegno saw the mathematics in colored rods, he had a PhD in mathematics. His students saw a game. And note, I have given Cuisenaire rods a whirl. They were influential in helping me see this fallacy. During the "activity" I recognized that a key element was missing. Mathematics. Hasta la vista colored rods. >
I wouldn't dismiss someone's lifework so quickly on the basis of giving these rods "a whirl". Did you use any of his texts to go with them?
I'm not a veteran teacher of this "Algebra First" curriculum either; I learned about it through Ian Benson, author of the above book. He was thinking Python might have a bigger role in early math teaching in the UK. This was pre Raspberry Pi, another UK based initiative wherein Python features.
Ian frequents Stanford and should be known to Milgram at least. He also knows Fernando Flores and Terry Winograd.
>> >> You may scoff at the idea, but remember the human brain is capable of >> mastering complete human languages at that age. > > And the obvious conclusion is that mathematics and language are very different beasts. >
You're quick to jump to conclusions I notice.
>> >> I don't think we really know what humans are capable of, given >> intelligently designed learning materials. > > We know what they are capable of. I don't know of any subject that has been more thoroughly tested than math. I think what you mean is that we don't know if a curriculum can be improved. At this point, the biggest improvement (overwhelmingly) appears to be to drop the pretense that it can be improved. That is my conclusion after studying dozens of curriculums and classes and noting which students make it into the "club" and which do not. > > Bob Hansen
Who is "We" in the above first sentence.
I don't think in Newton's day people envisaged 17 year olds learning his Calculus at such a tender age.
Programming computers was not originally envisioned as child-friendly activity either. Now there's Scratch from MIT.
The curriculum is not a static entity and indeed there is not just one curriculum.
E.g. Some are using the Litvins' book this academic school year, others are just thinking about it.