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Topic: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun

Replies: 40   Last Post: Jan 17, 2013 11:45 AM

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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun

Posted: Jan 10, 2013 9:20 PM
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Robert, I could offer a great deal of commentary on what you're immune to, but respect for the moderator and list rules stays my hand.

That you appear to seriously believe that all that is needed to critique the research methods, the theoretical framework (do you know what those things are, I seriously wonder?), etc., is knowledge of high school math, since the studies took place in high school math classes begins to reveal that you are, shockingly, unable to bring anything to the conversation that ANYONE in the social sciences would take seriously.

Now, if the focus of the Bishop/Milgram vendetta against Boaler was the mathematical content - that is to say, the accuracy from a mathematical perspective - of what was being taught, well, that might be another matter. But it isn't. No one is asserting that there were mathematical errors or untruths being taught, as far as I recall. Rather, this was the usual anti-progressive hate-fest that centers on pedagogy and a basic attitude towards the teaching and learning of mathematics. For Bishop, Milgram, and their allies, this is about no pain, no gain; about making the teacher the entire center of the classroom, who is all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-powerful, and who, through (almost invariably) his good graces, the powerless students will be allowed to glimpse revealed mathematical truth.

Here in the 21st century, however, a lot of folks have figured out that not only is such an approach unnecessary, but in many instances it is counter-productive. Of course, we all know that some individuals manage to make it through that particular gauntlet, and to them we say, "More power to you. If mathematics doesn't work out for you, there's always becoming a monk or nun, for you have demonstrated the ability to tolerate many indignities and deprivations."

For the rest of the population, who isn't particularly successful with such sparse and severe conditions, there are other ways through the woods than one. Your response, I know, is that anything that isn't the Holy Writ of the Priesthood is "not mathematics." Well, super for you, Robert. You keep thinking that. But do the rest of population a huge favor: back off, go serve the people who want your services, and stop whining so much. Stop acting like the dog in the manger who, in this case, can't teach these other kids effectively, and rather than let someone else do so, insist that if YOU can't reach them, no one can. Quit trying to ensure that there is but one path, and you are the determiner of what that path is.

Because there is nothing you can do to stop all the other projects and approaches, as Kirby demonstrates daily. He neither needs nor awaits your imprimatur, Robert, and is happily doing much good with those who appear very interested in his services and products (so to speak). I am happily teaching kids, coaching inner city math teachers, and doing much good with those who appear very interested in my services and products. Please feel free to do the same. Or not. Do something creative. Or not. But trying to pollute everyone else's waters is a losing proposition for all concerned, and no reasonable person is going to sit quietly and let you do so.

So, once again, you are more than free to pursue whatever courses of action you like, though I do encourage you to think positively, if you can. But telling Jo Boaler what she SHOULD say, or me what I SHOULD sign, or any of your many other amusing but futile ideas is a waste of time, effort, and space. It will impact precisely no one but yourself.

As for what passes for discourse here, do you seriously suggest that ANY person coming to this list for the first time, with no major preconceptions and no dogs in any fights, would spend more than a week without noticing how narrow and repetitive the conversations are? So please, don't attempt to warn me about what works, what you think you're immune to, or any other nonsense because you're the last person on earth whose views matter to me. I do learn things of value from some list members, and I've privately thanked some people (you'd be surprised) for putting up links and names of great interest that were unfamiliar to me. I will be happy to thank you, too, should a miracle occur. Until then, I suggest (fully knowing that you will not heed any suggestions that make sense) to save your breath to cool your soup.


Date Subject Author
1/9/13
Read Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/9/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/9/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/9/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
GS Chandy
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/14/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Louis Talman
1/14/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
GS Chandy
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
GS Chandy
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
GS Chandy
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/11/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/10/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Haim
1/11/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
GS Chandy
1/14/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/15/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/15/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Louis Talman
1/15/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/16/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Greg Goodknight
1/15/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/15/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/16/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Louis Talman
1/16/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/16/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
GS Chandy
1/16/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/16/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
Michael Paul Goldenberg
1/16/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in
defending fun
kirby urner
1/17/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
GS Chandy
1/17/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/17/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
GS Chandy
1/17/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen
1/17/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
GS Chandy
1/17/13
Read Re: Update about "The community of mathematics educators: Join in defending fun
Robert Hansen

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