Date: Oct 14, 2005 9:09 PM
Author: Duane Bozarth
Subject: Re: Other Foundations of Math secondary teachers?
Brian Harvey wrote:
> Guess who <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > If you learn to play the guitar or any
> >other musical instrument, you are first taught how to place your hands
> >and how to move them. You will practice scales on the piano, not
> >knowing why at the time, but that practice lays a firm foundation even
> >though the understanding is missing initially.
> It's been a long time, but I'm pretty sure that they wanted me to understand
> key signatures and circle-of-fifths from the beginning, before I had much
> "firm foundation" of playing skill. (Not to mention that music teaching also
> has its radical critics, for some of the same reasons as math teaching -- it
> turns off more people than it turns on.)
> I think, too, that the original context of this thread has been lost among
> the big ideas. We are talking about a population of kids who have already
> failed at learning arithmetic. So we *know for sure* that more of the same
> is *not* going to do *these* kids any good. Maybe giving them some actual
> mathematics won't work either, for many of them, but maybe it will, and it
> certainly can't do any worse than yet another year of remedial arithmetic.
I guess that it also partly depends on what the class is---is it the
"cutups" or is it a real "mentally-challenged" group or something else
or all of the above?
I was thinking of apparently educatable kids who were either behind for
language or other reasons. While I don't have a problem w/ the idea of
trying some more advanced concepts, I've seen too many pushed through
that still can't do remedial arithmetic to think it's a good thing to
simply "let it slide" as unimportant.
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