Wayne Bishop posted Jul 10, 2013 12:10 AM (GSC's remarks interspersed): > > And I say 'Don't waste more time avoiding > mathematics.' > Broadly, I'd agree with the idea underlying what's been expressed above - but I'd go about it in a very different way from what Professor Bishop has suggested in the past. The underlying idea does, however, provide us with a very useful 'element' that could - in fact should and even MUST - appear in an action plan to help rectify the ills of school math education (in the US and elsewhere in the world).
The best way to go about developing an Action Plan for math education in US schools would be simply to put this (and other good ideas) down as potential 'elements' in an Action Plan to be developed. This particular element might appear as follows:
E: "To prevent the damaging phenomenon of 'math avoidance' in students at our schools".
Then find out just how this element 'E' could be *integrated* into an effective Action Plan for math education in US schools. ('Math avoidance' is almost a universal phenomenon in schools worldwide, not just in US schools - so a practical means to overcome this 'math avoidance syndrome' would be most valuable for all education worldwide). Of course, the Action Plan that develops would be specific to each specific schools system).
There are simple modeling techniques available to enable *integration* of such an element (and other elements) into an effective Action Plan.
The required integration is most readily done by inquiring how this element might "CONTRIBUTE TO" other proposed elements and to the overall 'Mission' of developing an effective 'math education system' for schools.
The late John N. Warfield's seminal contributions to systems science provide us with powerful modeling tools that enable us to discover just how such ideas as expressed above "MAY CONTRIBUTE" to each other and to the overall 'Mission' (in this case, "To develop an effective math education system in US schools"). More information about Warfield's approach to systems science is available at http://www.jnwarfield.com and from the "John N. Warfield Collection" held at the library of George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA (where Warfield was Professor Emeritus) - see http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=gmu/vifgm00008.xml;query=; .
A development of Warfield's contributions to systems science, the 'One Page Management System' (OPMS) now enables anyone at any level (high-school up) to apply the sophisticated concepts of systems science to issues of direct concern to any individuals or groups, regardless of background knowledge of general systems theory, mathematics, etc. More information about the OPMS is available at the attachments to my message heading the thread "Democracy: how to achieve it?" - see http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536 .
It will be discovered that, while Professor Bishop's idea of 'preventing math avoidance amongst students in schools' is a most useful 'element' in any proposed Action Plan for US education, his other idea of "BLOWING UP THE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION!" is entirely worthless: there is absolutely no way that this idea will EVER contribute in any way to the improvement of US school education.
Professor Bishop has claimed that this foolish idea was actually from the thoughts of one Reid Lyon (reading research expert), in whose 'wisdom' Professor Bishop for some reason places great faith.
I do find it quite remarkable that - instead of simply dumping the idea permanently into the garbage bin where it deserves to be - Professor Bishop has made it more or less a slogan or an 'Article of Faith' for himself and for his cohorts and consorts in math education.
There is simply no way of integrating that foolish idea (or anything developing from it) into any effective Action Plan for math education in US schools. It doesn't work as a 'real element' - because it is impossible that "BLOWING UP THE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION would ever be acceptable to the stakeholders in the US education system. It doesn't work as satire either, as it does not help to make the people of the 'schools of education' really think about what they might be doing wrong in their 'Mission' to train teachers for US school education.
The only thing to do with that idiotic idea is to dump it once and for all into the garbage bin (where it should have been placed right at the start). > >Beyond that, > why is a geometry teacher facing a situation where a > student needs to > apply the quadratic formula? Especially, without > having any idea > what it means or where it came from? More blind rote > response > instead of mathematics understanding? > In his response at this thread (dt. Jul 10, 2013 1:17 AM - see http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9161841 ) to Professor Bishop's questions above, Richard Strausz has provided a response to the question of why a geometry teacher may want his students to apply the quadratic formula.
It all depends on the way it is taken up by the specific teacher: it certainly does not necessarily have to mean "more blind rote response instead of mathematics understanding" as averred by Professor Bishop. I believe the situation could definitely be handled by an imaginative math teacher so as to enhance math understanding quite significantly - and the students' interest in math.
In regard to the title of this thread, it turns out that "rap could certainly be used to help students develop an interest in science" (or math, for that matter). Or, perhaps to 'wean them', so to speak from their earlier 'fear and loathing' of science, math etc. It is simply a way to give them a platform (with which they my be familiar) that they could possibly use to start exploring math or science ideas. Again, as stated above, it would all depend on the teacher to spark that interest. (For example, I am pretty well aware that I could not do it myself - but I do know rappers that possibly could)