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Topic: Why?
Replies: 52   Last Post: Oct 30, 2012 9:38 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Louis Talman Posts: 5,100 Registered: 12/27/05
Re: Why?
Posted: Oct 30, 2012 11:59 AM
 att1.html (2.5 K)

On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 3:17 AM, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> wrote:

>
> On Oct 30, 2012, at 12:58 AM, Louis Talman <talmanl@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Traditional algebra requires letters. But words are symbols, too. Use of
> words is no reason to say a kid isn't doing algebra---after all, the
> beginning of algebra is the replacement of numbers with symbols for
> arbitrary numbers.
>
>
> 1. It was a joke. Letters, words or blanks, all good, as long as point (2)
> is met.
> 2. Algebra is a form of reasoning.
>
> Also, children don't understand "replacement of numbers with symbols for
> arbitrary numbers".
>
> If my several clues of the form "Children don't understand X" don't make
> sense then add a couple words as in...
>
> Children don't understand THE SIGNIFICANCE of X.
>
> Bob Hansen
>

Clyde is right. And it's completely irrelevant that children don't
understand the significance of replacing numbers with symbols for arbitrary
numbers. (Nor did I claim that they do.) What matters is that they do it.
And, perhaps even more important, they do it naturally.

Or, as Clyde suggests, they use abstract *things*, which he calls
"vectors". That's as good a word as any, I suppose, even though they
aren't vectors in the sense that mathematicians use the word.

I'd suggest that very few kids---even among Bob's "mathy" kids---understand
that they are abstracting, let alone the significance of abstracting. They
just do it.

--Louis A. Talman
Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Metropolitan State College of Denver

<http://rowdy.mscd.edu/%7Etalmanl>

Date Subject Author
10/23/12 Robert Hansen
10/23/12 Haim
10/23/12 Clyde Greeno
10/23/12 Dave L. Renfro
10/23/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/23/12 Robert Hansen
10/23/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/23/12 Robert Hansen
10/24/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/24/12 Robert Hansen
10/24/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/24/12 Robert Hansen
10/24/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/24/12 Robert Hansen
10/24/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/24/12 Robert Hansen
10/24/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/25/12 Robert Hansen
10/25/12 Louis Talman
10/26/12 Wayne Bishop
10/25/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/27/12 kirby urner
10/27/12 Robert Hansen
10/27/12 kirby urner
10/25/12 Robert Hansen
10/25/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/23/12 Jonathan J. Crabtree
10/25/12 Robert Hansen
10/24/12 GS Chandy
10/26/12 Wayne Bishop
10/26/12 Robert Hansen
10/27/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/27/12 Robert Hansen
10/27/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/27/12 Robert Hansen
10/27/12 kirby urner
10/28/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/28/12 Robert Hansen
10/28/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/27/12 Wayne Bishop
10/29/12 Joe Niederberger
10/29/12 Joe Niederberger
10/29/12 Robert Hansen
10/30/12 Louis Talman
10/30/12 Robert Hansen
10/30/12 Paul A. Tanner III
10/30/12 Louis Talman
10/30/12 Robert Hansen
10/30/12 Louis Talman
10/30/12 Robert Hansen
10/30/12 Louis Talman
10/30/12 Clyde Greeno @ MALEI
10/30/12 kirby urner