Robert Hansen posted Dec 19, 2012 10:44 PM (GSC's remarks at end): > > On Dec 19, 2012, at 11:50 AM, Gary Tupper > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > > Namely, gun-possessors would gradually become > pariahs in society. The ultimate aim being that > gun-users would ultimately be limited to law > enforcement officers and violent criminals. > Legitimate hunters would still be able to use their > hunting rifles. Gun clubs & rifle ranges would still > exist, but the local police stations would store the > firearms. > > Ok, you seem to have a plan for managing the guns of > law abiding citizens. And the point was? > > Surprisingly, this discussion is very appropriate on > math-teach. How many reforms follow this exact same > pattern? You go in thinking that the point was to > improve math education. You find methods that don't > appear aimed at that point at all. You ask the > teacher "What gives?" She responds "Our results are > more equitable." > > Bob Hansen > I agree that this discussion is entirely appropriate at 'math-teach' - which is, as I understand, intended to/ hoping to develop ideas about creating effective systems to 'teach math'. [We should of course become aware, from a very fundamental level, that 'teaching math' is inseparable from 'learning math' - and that we need to understand just how the 'learning+teaching dyad' operates.
When a child 'learns math' (or anything else), he/she has to learn from a specific position and place in society. Thus the entire societal system also comes up for review. Hillary Clinton recognized this fundamental and profound fact of life in her book "It Takes A Village!" (though she may not have specifically addressed the issue of 'teaching math' - I've only read reviews of the book).
When we start understanding systems, we may be able to begin designing our actions to operate effectively within our systems - and in particular how to operate in and on the 'learning+teaching dyad' (specifically for math; or specfically for any subject).
The traditional methods of 'teaching math' have largely left a very sizable number (perhaps even the majority) of students fearing and/or loathing math - and thereby they have become deprived of a useful tool of great power (and beauty). That is the prime failure of 'traditional math teaching'.
It is true that a great many efforts at reforming the 'teaching of math' also failed: that happened, I strongly believe, because the reformers did not adequately understand how to work in and on 'a system'. The 'failure of math reform' does not obviate the need for 'math-reform'.