Date: Apr 20, 1995 12:54 PM
Author: W Gary Martin
Subject: Re: where's the math? so? (was Re: 5th Grade Activity)
Ted Alper <alper@Ockham.Stanford.EDU> writes:

>Why is it important to teach that mathematics is a growing body of

>knowledge? I mean, it's certainly true, and it is better to

>be aware of the wide world than not -- but how much attention should be

>paid to this in an 8th grade math class? <etc.>

This is not just a "fact" to be conveyed to students. It is a mindset, a

way of looking at the study of mathematics. Mathematics is not something

dead people who lived years ago did. Mathematics is a continuing creative

enterprise of developing knowledge done by people who are LIVING.

Mathematicians do this for a living; we share in that enterprise as we make

sense of the mathematics we are studying, no matter what level that may be.

Too often students see mathematics as a body of knowledge to be assimilated

(a product). To me, seeing mathematics as an exciting and worthwhile

activity (a process) is at the very heart of the Standards.

Gary

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W. Gary Martin 1776 University Ave.

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Curriculum R & D Group (808)956-9956; FAX (808)956-4984