Paul
Posts:
621
Registered:
7/12/10


Re: Maths pedagaogy
Posted:
Mar 20, 2013 10:13 AM


On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 1:55:32 PM UTC, David C. Ullrich wrote: > On Tue, 19 Mar 2013 19:17:03 0500, fom <fomJUNK@nyms.net> wrote: > > > > >On 3/19/2013 4:57 PM, David C. Ullrich wrote: > > >> On Tue, 19 Mar 2013 08:38:20 0700 (PDT), Paul wrote: > > >> > > >>> On Tuesday, March 19, 2013 3:26:49 PM UTC, Frederick Williams wrote: > > >>>> quasi wrote: > > >>>> > > >>>> > > >>>> > > >>>>> > > >>>> > > >>>>> Yes, but the best teachers and authors have mastered the art of > > >>>> > > >>>>> judging how their presentation would be seen from the point of > > >>>> > > >>>>> view of the prospective student. > > >>>> > > >>>> > > >>>> > > >>>> While the lecturer knows to whom he is lecturing, the author of a book > > >>>> > > >>>> doesn't necessarily know who will read it. > > >>>> > > >>>> > > >>> This seems exactly the wrong way round. A good maths book will specify exactly what the readership is expected to know  "prerequisites" in other words. > > >>> On the other hand, the abilities and knowledge bases of a graduate and undergraduate class can vary enormously, and it is difficult (but not impossible) to find out what they know. > > >> > > >> > > >> ??? There are _official_ prerequisites for a class. A student is not > > >> _allowed_ to take this class without having passed those other > > >> classes. All the author of a book can do is explain what audience > > >> he had in mind  he has no control over who actually reads the book. > > >> > > >> What's difficult about finding out what the students know? > > >> After the first quiz in differential equations I can tell you > > >> which ones know enough calculus. > > >> > > >> Your, erm, experience must be vastly different from mine; > > >> in particular the rules and regulations at the place where > > >> you teach must be very different. > > >> > > >> "exactly the wrong way round" indeed. > > >> > > > > > >Some, like myself, study outside of the guidance > > >of curriculum committees and without the help > > >of instructors. > > > > > >I visit used book stores seeking books I can > > >afford  some beyond my skill level. > > > > > >I work at understanding what I can. I look > > >for books that fill gaps when I have purchased > > >beyond my abilities. > > > > > >So, I do appreciate when an author makes a > > >plain statement of prerequisites. > > > > Of course that's a good thing  that in no way > > negates my comments on Paul's pronouncement... >
David,
The basic content of your comments is absolutely fine. However, you appear to assume that I teach maths. This is absolutely incorrect. The last time I did any teaching was as a graduate teaching assistant twenty years ago.
Furthermore, your tone is once again inappropriate. For example, it would be better to say "Your experience" than "Your erm, experience". If you're wondering why no one else is pointing this out, the answer is not that no one agrees me with that you're behaving obnoxiously. The answer is that people are giving you a great deal of licence because they value your professional expertise. Whether you should take advantage of this licence to abuse people is up to you.
Paul Epstein

