On Jan 2, 2014, at 1:03 PM, kirby urner <kirby.urner@GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> I think there's overwhelming evidence that integrating more programming into math class works, and works well.
I don?t know how you can make that statement. We are at year 50 of this experiment. And you are complaining how no one except professional programmers, can program.
And I am complaining that even the professional programmers can?t program.:)
To wrap up, this is my position -
1. I do not think higher level classes should be mandatory. 2. I do think that CS should be offered in high schools, as an elective. 3. I do not see any pedagogical advantage of teaching anything with programming, except, programming. 4. I think technology has a place in math classes starting in the 7th grade, but only in context, not as part of the lesson.
This is after watching the ?experiment? for decades.
Further explanation of (4) -
When I say technology in context I don?t mean programming or Mathematica or CAS. People use spreadsheets. Engineers use spreadsheets. Everyone uses spreadsheets. They use them today. Spreadsheets should be ushered in during the 7th or 8th grade to do for the students what they do for the 100 million other users. Release them from tedium. Not to replace or enhance any learning tasks at hand. Computers can?t perform algebraic reasoning. And if the student doesn?t get in deep with the parts of algebra, neither will they. I am assuming they know arithmetic well by now, and like salt, they get enough practice in their daily lives without artificially adding more as we had to in grade school. Numbers are everywhere and now that hey know about them, they will be adding and multiplying enough in their daily lives. That is my motive and my only motive for introducing spreadsheets. It has no more pedagogical value than the pencil sharpener. But it relives tedium.
The reason they use calculators is that when they started using calculators, PCs were still sparse and calculators were the next best choice. The reason we hate calculators is that the damn screens are so small. But we are middle aged. The screens are not small to kids. I remember my youth rather well. I could disassemble and reassemble a watch using just my naked eye. Now I can barely even tell the time without my glasses.
But it is high time they get with the 22nd century and use spreadsheets like everyone else.
In higher classes in later years, when they have sufficiently conquered algebra, then the door is wide open.
Note: There is nothing wrong to exposing them to Mathematica and tools like that. But don?t try to use it. Not till much later.