Robert Hansen (RH) posted Jun 15, 2014 11:28 PM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9487412): > > On Jun 15, 2014, at 3:10 AM, GS Chandy > <email@example.com> wrote: > > > (GSC): There are (I claim) serious doubts about the > > coherence of the entirely different discipline of > > 'imparting knowledge about math' (and about > > arithmetic, for that matter, in particular). > > Well, teaching (mathematics) seems pretty coherent to > most of us here. > That is no doubt why most US students 'fear and loathe mathematics' by the time they graduate from high school!
I note in passing that Joe Niederberger has recently started a thread on more or less this idea. I expect that it will, in due course, attract considerable attention. You may perhaps like to share from your vast reservoir of 'secret knowledge' on the issue.
There are, by the way, literally thousands of websites and posts discussing this issue - check out at Google to confirm this. (A quick check I did just now revealed well over 2MMMMillion links on googling for "Why do so many of us hate math?" I have just glanced at a few of them and, broadly, know what the sites that I've seen and their readers are saying. No surprises there: none that I saw indicated any 'systematic' understanding of how to tackle this issue, in practice on the ground - though many of them had very sound ideas. What was lacking was only a practical means to 'put it all together').
And your advanced understanding of teaching math is no doubt clear evidence that President Obama was grossly in error when he suggested that the 'math education system' needs considerable improvement. I recall that he confessed (probably somewhat shamefacedly, I would imagine) that he was 'poor' at math right through his school career and he I believe held the 'math education system' responsible for this. I believe he was suggesting that things are no better in the math education system now than they were in his day. This is (IMHO) entirely true. Zero improvement of the whole US 'math education system, in, what, 40-50 years?
That kind of (non)performance really takes some doing!! Obviously, the whole of the US math education system is in urgent need of the ministrations of RH and his cohorts and consorts!
(No doubt 'israeliteknight', [and his cohorts and consorts] if he has any here, will claim that President Obama, because of the colour of his skin, has an IQ of 76 or whatever and therefore is bound to do badly in mathematics, "CALCULUS" and other such mysteries reserved to those with skins of an appropriate colour with matching 'IQs'!! But that is, perhaps, entirely another story).
Reverting to the 'teaching of mathematics' (A):
Let me fully accept (notwithstanding Professor Talman's no doubt contrary opinion) that all the mysteries of 'A' above are an open book to you - as are those relating to the 'teaching of science' and those relating to the 'teaching of computer science' as well, as you've boasted somewhere.
You should offer your 'expertise' in all these disciplines to the authorities who are, I understand, desperately seeking to develop ways and means of 'math education systems' that would help the USA catch up with the nations who do well at math at PISA, TIMSS (?? correct name??), and etc. You'll surely earn a pretty penny for yourself to add to your current takings of over US $ 200K per annum. > > I think one of Haim?s most > insightful statements was to that effect, that there > wasn?t much new to be learned about pedagogy. > Well, that was, and no doubt still is, Haim's opinion.
And hence his recommendation to:
"PUT THE EDUCATIONAL MAFIA IN JAIL!"
No doubt Haim is a 'Genius' according to you and his opinions are beyond questioning.
Permit me to state that I believe Haim is totally wrong in his approach and that ANY approach based on the thinking that led to such a (no doubt 'rhetorical') suggestion is bound to fail. It will be an expensive failure. > > I think the reason is that we are dealing with a pretty > static design (humans) that hasn?t changed in a very > long time. > During all your no doubt very profound investigations, you have alas failed to realise that human beings are blessed (or cursed) with the power of (human) thinking and rationality, which is a characteristic that has been scientifically proven to be pretty dynamic, fluid, able to change itself according to the circumstance. (There are some of us, of course, who have chosen to seal, hermetically as it were, their minds to the ingress of new ideas, but I suspect those are a rather small percentage of the human population, and I'm not basing my own strategies on any kind of appeal to them). > >The politics of education on the other > hand is a very different animal. > The "politics of education", as you term it, is indeed a factor - as you rightly claim. Unfortunately your realistic understanding of the issue is nearly zero (IMHO).
I observe, as a side-bar so to speak, that the US has managed to elect a 'black man' as its President - something that would (I claim) have been unimaginable to the most liberal-minded of US citizens even just 20 years ago. This happened not once, but twice over!
That was in a possibly connected field, the 'education of people about political change'. It's not about mathematics per se, agreed, but it is surely about the flexibitiy and fluidity of change of mindsets of the human animal en masse.
I claim that, likewise, the 'education system' needs to seek actively to make a change of mindsets on the matter of 'fearing and/or loathing' math - and that this can definitely be achieved in no more than a couple of years from the time that I've succeeeded in creating an appropriate platform for "demonstrating OPMS to its potential markets".
It may be appropriate and useful for you to examine, if possible, the growth and possible change and development of the 'states of mind' of the US (white) population in general - Before Obama (BO) and 'AO' - on the issue of black 'IQs'. I believe you'll find that there has been very significant change.
GSC ("Still Shoveling! Not PUSHING!! Not GOADING!!!")