The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: R.L. Moore - Pioneer of Math Education Reform
Replies: 4   Last Post: Apr 19, 2013 12:34 AM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: R.L. Moore - Pioneer of Math Education Reform
Posted: Apr 18, 2013 5:19 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Richard Hake posted Apr 16, 2013 3:08 AM:
> Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in
> a recent post
> "R.L. Moore - Pioneer of Math Education Reform" [Hake
> (2013)]. The
> abstract reads:
> ************************************************
> ABSTRACT: Contrary to the misrepresentation of the
> "Moore Method"
> <> by direct instructionist Wayne
> Bishop at
> <>, I excerpt ten commentaries
> demonstrating that
> the Moore Method is, in fact, (a) an example of "math
> education
> reform ," and (b) taught by a "guide on the side."

<snip - the remainder of Professor Haky's document appears below my signature>

I observe:

1. I am not a math teacher (though I do have some experience in helping a couple of students overcome their 'fear-loathing' of math, brought on by earlier, incompetent teaching of math).

2. I have not taught a math class via the "Moore Method". I therefore cannot and do not claim to be an expert on the 'Moore Method'.

I have read a fair bit about the 'Moore Method' - some of the documentation provided by Richard Hake (see below my signature) as well as the documentation provided by provided Wayne Bishop (see: and ). Also some further documentation on the 'Moore Method' that I sought out and checked through (some of which is listed below).

I must emphasise that I've NOT done an adequately detailed study on the 'Moore Method' - either its mechanics or its utility. I am therefore not taking a call at all on the actual utility of the 'Moore Method' to teaching (either for school math for the purpose of 'math education reform' or for 'advanced math' classes where Professor Moore had employed it).

3. It strikes me, on the basis of the above background, that Richard Hake's claims are justified that the 'Moore Method' has little semblance with the 'direct instruction' processes' promoted by Professor Wayne Bishop. In fact, at least one of the documents provided by Professor Wayne Bishop himself appears to confound his own claims (see "How to Teach" - the document is extremely difficult to read, but it does appear to contradict Professor Bishop's arguments).

4. In order to arrive at the conclusion of No. 3 above, I have in addition looked at (but not adequately studied or synthesised) the following documentation:

i) Wikipedia "Moore Method" -

ii) "Creativity in Mathematics, Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) and the Moore Method (a set of 16 videos) presented by David Garrigus -

iii) "A Quick-Start Guide to the Moore Method" (Author's name not provided - )

iv) The Genesis of the Moore Method, by David E. Zitarelli, Temple University, (This is one of the documents on Richard Hake's list, below).

At this point, I got somewhat tired of the exercise and decided to call it quits, as I had given more than sufficient attention to it.

It does, however, appear that Professor Bishop is 'blowing smoke'. [I must emphasize that I do not know enough about the 'Moore Method' to make this judgement authoritatively - it is, at this time, only my impression].

The remainder of Professor Hake's document:
> The commentators
> are:
> 1. Keith Devlin 1999) in "The Greatest Math Teacher
> Ever" part 1 at
> <> and part 2 at
> <>.
> 2. Educational Achievement Foundation's (2006) "A
> Quick-Start Guide
> to the Moore Method" at <>
> 3. Paul Halmos in "The Problem of Learning to Teach"
> (Halmos, Moise,
> & Piranian, 1975) at <>.
> 4. F. Burton Jones (1977) in "The Moore method" at
> <>.
> 5. Albert C. Lewis (1999) in "Reform and Tradition in
> Mathematics
> Education: The Example of R.L. Moore" at
> <>.
> 6. G. Edgar Parker (1992) "Getting More from Moore"
> at <>.
> 7. The MAA review of "The Moore Method: A Pathway to
> Learner-Centered
> Instruction" [Coppin, Mahavier, May, & G.E. Parker
> (2009)] at
> <>.
> 8. "Discovery Learning Project" at the University of
> Texas (2013) at
> <>.
> 9. Lucille S. Whyburn (1970) "Student oriented
> teaching-The Moore
> Method" at <>.
> 10. David Zitarelli (2004) in "The origin and early
> impact of the
> Moore Method" at <>.
> ************************************************
> To access the complete 54 kB post please click on
> <>.
> Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana
> University
> Links to Articles: <>
> Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs:
> <>
> Academia: <>
> Blog: <>
> GooglePlus: <>
> Google Scholar <>
> Twitter: <>
> Facebook: <>
> REFERENCES [URL shortened by <> and
> accessed on 14 April 2013.]
> Hake, R.R. 2013. "R.L. Moore - Pioneer of Math
> Education Reform,"
> online on the OPEN Net-Gold archives at
> <>..
> Post of 14 Apr 2013 15:57:26 -0700 to AERA-L and
> Net-Gold. The
> abstract and link to the complete post were
> transmitted to several
> discussion lists and are on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff"
> at
> <> with a provision for comments.

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.