Robert Hansen posted Mar 12, 2014 8:30 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9410293) - GSC's remarks interspersed: > > On Mar 11, 2014, at 5:02 PM, Joe Niederberger > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > > Well, I don't know about "political forces" unless > you simply mean there's a group of people who think > getting lots more people into programming is a way to > shore up the economy, keep America #1, unleash the > potential of women, realize a Star-trek future etc. > > In conventional educational theory, there is an > element of ability, and the outcome of a student is a > product of pedagogy and ability. The goal is to > maximize each student?s outcome. ('A', say, added by GSC) > > In political educational theory, there is an element > of class, and the outcome of a student is a product > of pedagogy and class. The goal is to eliminate > differences in outcomes between classes. ('B', say, > added by GSC) > The above is an interesting categorisation of 'educational theories', though I cannot offhand tell you how valid it might turn out to be in real life. I have named these categories neutrally, as 'A' and 'B'.
I observe that your definition of these classes 'A' and 'B' may require some clarification.
In order to help us find out just how valid the above categorisation might be in real life situations that we confront in our efforts at Math-teach, could you clarify a few questions that come to mind:
1) Into which class, 'A' or 'B', does your well-known 'educational philosophy' fall? (RH's well-known educational philosophy goes somewhat as follows: "Children must be PUSHED [or GOADED] to learn math" [and doubtless everything else])
2) Into which class, 'A' or 'B', does GSC's opposing 'educational philosophy' fall? (GSC's educational philosophy may be expressed as follows: "Children should be ENCOURAGED to learn math [and everything else]. If the ENCOURAGEMENT is done *effectively*, then children will learn to PUSH themselves or even to GOAD themselves to overcome the many difficulties they will confront while learning").
3) Into which class, 'A' or 'B', would fall the educational philosophies underlying the following slogans we've seen expressed here at Math-teach:
- -- "PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL"! (Haim, who is alas no longer with us);
- -- "BLOW UP THE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION!" (Wayne Bishop, taking up as his lifework the slogan put forward by Reid Lyon [Reading Research Expert]).
Your responses to the above questions may help us populate the categorisation you've put forward of 'educational theories'. The efforts you put in on these questions may help us clarify many knotty/ thorny isuses that come up here from time to time. Thank you in advance.
By the way, I personally believe that both 'educational theories', as expressed/defined by you, may demand some work on them to satisfy the standards being developed by the group of mathematicians at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, NJ, who are developing what they call 'Homotopy Type Theory' (HOTT). As you probably know, this group of advanced mathematicians in promoting HOTT, are very ambitiously seeking to establish the 'univalent foundations of mathematics' - which would, in due course (if they're successful) probably have huge impact on Marxian Class Theory, etc.
(It was Joe Niederberger I believe who first brought this very ambitious undertaking to our notice, vide his post dt. Mar 4, 2014 1:36 AM - http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9400390. I believe you had given your unqualified approval to this ambitious undertaking of the 'Univalent Foundations Group'. > > > When I suggest that kids can start to learn > programming in grade school, perhaps I'm just > suggesting that (1) kids have curiosity about > computers and programming, (2) there's no reason to > "hold off" till a later age, (3) I'm talking about > baby steps of course. Just like music lessons, most > will find the rigors of programming unappealing at > some point and drop out. > Of course. > > I wasn?t critiquing this, and this is conventional > educational theory, > Is it? I'm not too sure about that. > > and as such, any arguments would > be as to whether this increases student?s outcomes, > in the grand scheme of all possible outcomes of > course. > What specifically might you mean by "...student?s outcomes, in the grand scheme of all possible outcomes of course"?? > > But in political educational theory, if the > subject is more unappealing to one class than it is > to another class, > Which is this 'theory of classes' that you might be subscribing to, in the above? Is it the conventional 'Marxian Theory of Classes (and Class Struggle) - see, for e.g. Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxian_class_theory? Or do you base your ideas on some of the many extrapolations that have come up - see, for e.g. "Post-Marxism" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-Marxism. > > then the problem must lie in the > subject and the solution is to eliminate those > elements in the subject that the affected class find > unappealing. Sometimes these removals are bold and > sudden, sometimes subtle and gradual. > > Bob Hansen > I'm afraid I don't understand your final paragraph at all. Perhaps I may arrive at some better understanding if you'd respond to some of the questions I've posted earlier.
GSC ("Still Shoveling! Not PUSHING!! Not GOADING!!!")