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Topic: Maths pedagaogy
Replies: 57   Last Post: Mar 21, 2013 9:47 PM

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fom

Posts: 1,969
Registered: 12/4/12
Re: Maths pedagaogy
Posted: Mar 21, 2013 9:47 PM
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On 3/21/2013 5:22 PM, Herman Rubin wrote:
> On 2013-03-20, Paul <pepstein5@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:04:36 PM UTC, Herman Rubin wrote:
>
>

>>> ...
>
>>> The official prerequisites are almost always as certain courses
>
>>> or equivalent. Whether those courses as taken were any good is
>
>>> now highly questionable.
>>> ...

>
>

>> I agree with this. A book's prerequisites might say (for example)
> that the book assumes knowledge of undergraduate linear algebra and a
> rigorous course in calculus of one variable. I would then have a good
> feeling for the level of the book.
>

>> However, I feel that this prerequisites problem is much greater in
> university education, because a prerequisite might be "Must have passed
> M323GKY". However, if M323GKY was a badly taught course by an unmotivated
> professor who hates teaching [the exact opposite to David Ullrich, BTW,
> who, judging from his expositional skills and his maths work on sci.math
> is someone who is very committed to undergrad teaching], then filtering
> the students by their having passed M323GKY doesn't work well.
>

>> I'm puzzled though by the word "now" as in "now highly questionable."
> Do you believe that this is a recent problem and that higher maths
> education used to be much better. Please explain the "now" part, or is
> it just a typo?
>
> It is not a typo. It was somewhat questionable in the past, but
> the pressure to teach to the level of whatever students are put
> in the class by administrators, together with the dumbing down of
> high school courses so everyone can graduate, has made it much worse.
>
>


anecdote:

During the time I attended college, there was
a college professor in sociology who had published
research concerning the public school system that
I had attended. According to his research, it was
the least effective public school system in the United
States.

The city in which this school system is located has
a particular reputation for its politics. Needless to
say, that professor's research became a clarion call for
reform. The politics of education became a favorite topic
for political discourse as it never had been in the past.

Long before the United States introduced its "No child left
behind" legislation, this city had been implementing its
reforms on the basis of standardized testing. For the entire
time there have been contracts for various consultants with
their own theories of how to "fix" the schools. And, more
recently, the traditional organization of the system bureaucracy
was reorganized to have a "private sector" model with a
Chief Executive Officer having little or no direct educational
background. Schools are now "fixed" by closings that
disrupt the lives of students as they get transferred to
other schools (preferably private sector "charter" schools).

Of course, there is no money for school supplies. Often
I meet teachers who purchase school supplies from their
own incomes.

At the time I graduated from high school (secondary education),
my school had produced more successful Ph.D. candidates
than any other high school in the United States. Needless
to say, I have watched the politics of this situation lead
to the ruin of one of the few schools that had had a good
reputation.

These reform movements led to a handful of schools becoming
the "gems" of the school system through the years. One of
my nieces attended the most recent version of "the best of
the best". This school is listed among some of the best
secondary schools in the nation when you read articles in
the press that report on such things.

I heard that my niece had been having problems with
mathematics. I visited her to give some tutoring and
found myself in shock at the quality of textual materials
she had been given. The next week I returned with some
dusty old tomes from used book stores in the area and explained
to her that these would be better references for her if she
were to need them.

For financial reasons, she could not attend college. But,
she reports that her friends are all having severe difficulties
in college mathematics classes. Perhaps that is merely her
clique of friends. I suspect it is more widespread than that.

Today one of the former superintendents -- or should I call
him a CEO -- for this school system is the Secretary of
Education for the United States.

So long as the press merely reports the statistics fed
to them by the politicians, the data points themselves
are lost in the fray. Standardized test scores get
reported. Rates at which students graduate get reported.
Rates at which graduating students are accepted to college
get reported.

The grades that those students receive when they get there
is not.

I have witnessed "much worse" for the last 26 years. For
24 of those years I have watched our "education mayor" preside
over this debacle.






Date Subject Author
3/17/13
Read Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
David C. Ullrich
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
David C. Ullrich
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
David C. Ullrich
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
David C. Ullrich
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
William Elliot
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
David Bernier
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
William Elliot
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Kaba
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
David C. Ullrich
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Kaba
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
quasi
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Kaba
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
quasi
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Kaba
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
quasi
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
David C. Ullrich
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
fom
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
David C. Ullrich
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
fom
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Herman Rubin
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Brian Q. Hutchings
3/21/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Herman Rubin
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/21/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Herman Rubin
3/21/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
fom
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
quasi
3/19/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Paul
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Herman Rubin
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
3/20/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Brian Q. Hutchings
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
fom
3/17/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Frederick Williams
3/21/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Jesse F. Hughes
3/21/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
fom
3/21/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
Kaba
3/21/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
fom
3/21/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
fom
3/18/13
Read Re: Maths pedagaogy
grei

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