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Topic: Treatment of Negative Numbers
Replies: 12   Last Post: Dec 5, 2012 2:13 AM

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Robert Hansen

Posts: 7,186
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Re: Treatment of Negative Numbers
Posted: Dec 4, 2012 8:45 AM
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I think it boils down to the fact that most people are much more aware of the development behind all of this than you will admit. They realize that you can't just walk into a class and put on a show and expect any real achievement. Not that shows are all bad. A distraction once in awhile is a good thing, even a required thing, and it can be inspiring. I am quite certain that teachers don't do as you suggest, and clutter up a lesson with a bunch of tangents and shifting points of perspective because they recognize that lessons are supposed to lead to a moment of clarity for the students. Not leave them more confused than when they started.

Bob Hansen


On Dec 4, 2012, at 2:18 AM, kirby urner <kirby.urner@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>
> On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 8:56 AM, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> wrote:
> BINGO! This is a must watch.
>
> The Max Beberman Film Collection Digitized
>
> Here are some of the films regarding negative numbers...
>
> http://glifos.cah.utexas.edu/index.php/MBeberman:E_mb_0002
> http://glifos.cah.utexas.edu/index.php/MBeberman:E_mb_0013
>
>
> I watched the first one.
>
> He starts with Left and Right and tries to say it's up to us which is which but gets push back from the class when he tries to make right be left.
>
> What he never talks about is how the very same road, seen from the other side of the blackboard, has left and right reversed because the terms left and right are relative to an observer. He does have one exercise where what the girls call positive is the opposite of what the boys call positive. But it's not because of standing on opposite sides of the road ("my right is your left" etc.).
>
> Using town names at either end of the line implies an absolute way of talking about direction (towards Shelbyville) whereas left and right are relative to an observer. Draw a road on planet Earth somewhere. Which was is "to the right"? Makes no sense really, to ask that. Most roads aren't even straight.
>
> He introduces positive and negative as if this solves the issue of adding directionality but it does only along this one line. For Beberman, "out of town" is one direction (because of one road) wheres most towns I've been to have any number of radials one could call "outbound", not to mention up and down (away from Earth center vs toward Earth center).
>
> The emphasis on "just linear" is pretty mind-numbing. What if there's a place not on the line you want to go? Sounds like you won't have a real number, too bad for you.
>
> And what about the fact that a road going to the left will eventually come back around? If it's a road, it's on a curved surface. Does that matter? Why does the line have to be straight, or does it? This is never explained. Why not a curly cue line that intersects itself?
>
> The kids are too muzzled, expected just to answer correctly as they're led on into a somewhat inane discourse.
>
> I felt sorry for these kids. We could say they're being educated but they're also being dumbed down.
>
> Kirby
>





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