Date: Feb 22, 2010 2:26 PM Author: kirby urner Subject: Re: New federal credit card rules On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 6:14 AM, Pam <Pamkgm@hotmail.com> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> On a side note - THIS is why I care about Devlin's comments. I really couldn't care less about the philosophical/mathematical nature of whether multiplication is repeated addition. And if elementary teachers teaching that multiplication is repeated addition is interfering with an understanding of post-graduate pure mathematics, well, too damn bad (and how laughable).

Good clear expression of a position Pam.

Early skills building is not a mirror image of some later specialty.

One hears this chorus saying "teach it that way and you'll ruin their

ability to understand it my way."

To this chorus one might respond: your way is not the only way (not

the only game in town).

On the subject of exponential debt curves, it's easy to get into a

situation where every asset on Earth is "owed" thanks to an out of

control model of what banking is all about.

We raise kids in a world where the collective debt load of "the

richest nation on earth" (?) is already crushing and apparently cannot

be repaid.

At the same time, planet Earth is an open system, receiving a generous

energy income from the Sun (solar fusion furnace) that is both

interest free and efficacious.

Where does this asset show up in the economic bookkeeping?

I would submit that our cultural storytelling, our "myths" if you

will, is in a shambles. This is a root cause of a stagnating economy.

We're not making enough sense, even to ourselves, let alone to our

children.

Addressing this deep existential problem is the task of any

civilization under the sun, and requires the contributions of both

mathematicians and philosophers.

The way K12 mathematics is taught today, there's very little

encouragement to "zoom out" to contemplate the bigger picture. It's a

heads down, blinders on, narrowing affair. This needs to be

countered.

Boosting the role of storytelling need not be at the expense of skills

building.

On the contrary, providing a context, a real one, is more likely to be

motivational.

Quoting myself from a few posts back:

"""

The whole idea of making storytelling the core of a math

class, as unifying heuristics, is somewhat "out there"

from the standpoint of 1900s math teaching practices,

but it's innate in many cultures, as any anthropologist

will tell you, and really the burden of proof should be

on those who refuse to tell stories: when did that ever

work? Disney's 1959 little masterpiece shows what a

difference it makes to add story (context), ditto that

Time / Life book in the 1960s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_ssR7M5Px0

http://wikieducator.org/File:Math_cover.jpg

Sucking away the historical dimension was probably the

worst pedagogical mistake of Factory Math (a nickname

for it, includes both New Math and New New Math).

"""

[ http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=6988690&tstart=0 ]

Thanks again,

Kirby

> Pam