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Topic: Re: To K-12 teachers here: Another enjoyable post from Dan Meyer
Replies: 6   Last Post: Aug 30, 2013 1:01 PM

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Robert Hansen

Posts: 7,705
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Re: To K-12 teachers here: Another enjoyable post from Dan Meyer
Posted: Aug 29, 2013 11:07 PM
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On Aug 29, 2013, at 3:43 PM, Wayne Bishop <wbishop@calstatela.edu> wrote:

> "Supposition" is literally more accurate but "religious conviction" comes closer to giving a more accurate feel for the situation.

Supposition is the "logic" that backs up religious conviction. However, as much as I agree with you about "religion" in education, Dan represents a different breed in my book. While his motivation might have started with the same frustration that leads some teachers to "religion" and some to say silly things like "We don't need to teach factoring because computers can do it for us.", his solution is not ideological. His solution is to forego teaching math altogether and do things that he enjoys himself, like making videos.

For example, the latest "activity" which he showcases on his site ...

http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?p=17848

The locker problem is as follows...

1. There are 1000 lockers, all shut and unlocked, and 1000 students.
2. The first student goes along and opens every locker.
3. The second student goes along and closes every locker starting with locker 2.
4. The 3rd student goes along and opens every locker starting with locker 3.
5. And so on...

What is the state of the lockers after the 1000th student completes the task?

This is a problem meant to be worked out in your HEAD. That is the whole point of this problem. To think (logically) and organize your thoughts. This is a great problem. It isn't overly difficult yet supports the use of some formality. To a real teacher this problem is a goal for their students to reach and they plan it into their curriculum with that intent. It is an opportunity for their students to arrive.

But not Dan. For Dan this is an opportunity to enjoy himself with HIS hobby of activity making. And since Dan had decided to ignore all of that organization and structure we call "mathematics" he doesn't have to fret about his students' cognitive development anymore and thus has plenty of time for his hobby. Dan gives us a new twist on the phrase "busy work". Unlike the common use of that phrase in these discussions (work just meant to keep students busy) this is work just meant to keep the teacher busy.

Bob Hansen





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