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Topic: Why do so many of us hate math?
Replies: 30   Last Post: Jun 24, 2014 9:05 AM

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kirby urner

Posts: 1,756
Registered: 11/29/05
Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Posted: Jun 16, 2014 6:07 PM
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On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 9:36 AM, Joe Niederberger <niederberger@comcast.net>
wrote:

> Kirby says:
> >Lets define two modes of learning: recall and recog (short for
> recognition).
>
> As you described (defined) these, they also sounded a lot like performance
> versus appreciation to me. Appreciation, for many people means more than
> just the superficial, but coming to understand more deeply what makes stuff
> work. Connecting the dots as you say.
>
>

I think that's a good analogy.

When I moved to Italy (Rome) in third grade, I wasn't ready to go cold
turkey and kill my television. On the contrary I eagerly awaited the
evening broadcast, watching musical test patterns until Telejournale, the
news.

I recognized Italian and could often piece together the gist of the story,
but turn the camera around and make me recall, and I'm terrible.

I can recognize my favorite music and internally hum along as it were, but
put me in front of a microphone and I'll croak.

That's the kind of difference I'm thinking of. And wholesome learning
requires both i.e. I'm not suggesting DIY is in itself a problem. On the
contrary, my company shares a lot of history with Make: magazine (Dale
brought us on board). My school is all about DIY, hands-on, not just
passive learning.


> Kirby:
> >One reason people hate math pedagogy, which they hate more than math ...
>
> Its unusual to find people who say they hate music, (though I hate the
> music I hear unwilling in public spaces more and more) but its not that
> hard to find people who say they hated piano lessons.
>
>

Think about athletics.

People into snowboarding watch pro snowboarders, ditto skateboard,
moto-cross, what have you.

The standard fan may be a couch potato but there's a contingent saying
"that could be me" and an even smaller group saying "that *is* me". The
most avid viewers of sport X tend to be players of said X, ranked along
some axis of dabbler to lifer.

A problem with mathematics, the sport, is no one seems to know who's doing
it for real.

Yes, there's an "Olympics" but they're arcane.

Aren't most mathematicans working in insurance as actuaries, the rest
either NSA crypto or academics of some kind?

On TV you've got NUMB3RS which suggest mathematicians are hot on the case,
solving crimes. How many of *those* have *you* ever met? It's confusing.
The vocation is ill-defined.

That's not the fault of the kids in any way, but they're easy to blame,
and, as non-voters, easy to bully.


> So, you basically put forth an interesting remedy in the rest of your
> post. More recog (appreciation, background, dot connecting...) Do you think
> that could also make people more successful as say, learning a musical
> instrument?
>
>

In terms of motivation, yes. If you've never seen a violin played by a
pro... but we all have.

Appreciation is embedded in the culture.

It's just in math class there seems to have been a century-long conspiracy
to drain it of as much appreciative content as possible and make all heads
down drill and kill. No history, no bios, no art, no dots connecting.
Just linear plodding from topic to topic, supposedly intrinsically fun.

There's this faux debate between "constructivists" and "direct instruction"
types which I suppose is roughly "DIY" versus "appreciation". Which would
make me sound like an anti-contructivist in pushing recog harder, but I'm
not, so go figure.

I think lectures (recog) are great, but I think anime / cartoons are often
better, if designed to be didactic (which maybe most aren't, but there's a
trend?).

Students get approximately zero "math appreciation" content, with the
constant delay of gratification, always around the next corner. At some
point you're supposed to just throw in the towel and develop that goofy
look and glazed faraway gaze and say "math is just.... beautiful....".
Yeah, right, gimme a break. Another math retard, faking it. Probably has
a bright future as a professor, hah hah. That's why people had math. It
all seems like such a racket when you get right down to it. Athletics just
has more integrity.

Kirby




> (BTW, on the recog side, helping to connect dots, this BBC series with
> Howard Goodall, I thought was pretty good:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnbOWi6f_IM )
>
> At our local high school we had, until recently, a real Mr. Holland type
> music teacher, who had over half the student population signed up for some
> musical activity, usually more than one. The kids usually never even said
> *he* was their favorite teacher (I asked many,) but there they were, being
> at least moderately successful in droves.
>
> I don't know what he considered his secret, but next time I see him I will
> ask.
>
> Cheers,
> Joe N
>
> ------- End of Forwarded Message
>
>



Date Subject Author
6/14/14
Read Why do so many of us hate math?
Joe Niederberger
6/15/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/15/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Bishop, Wayne
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
kirby urner
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
kirby urner
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
kirby urner
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
kirby urner
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
GS Chandy
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Gary Tupper
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Joe Niederberger
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
kirby urner
6/17/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Joe Niederberger
6/16/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Joe Niederberger
6/18/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
GS Chandy
6/18/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/18/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
GS Chandy
6/18/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/18/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Louis Talman
6/18/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Joe Niederberger
6/19/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
kirby urner
6/19/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
GS Chandy
6/21/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Ray
6/22/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/22/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Ray
6/23/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
kirby urner
6/24/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen
6/24/14
Read Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Robert Hansen

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