Date: Oct 15, 2012 6:53 PM
Author: Louis Talman
Subject: Re: Inquiry Based Learning at the University of Michigan Math Dept.
On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> wrote:

>

> On Oct 15, 2012, at 1:04 PM, Louis Talman <talmanl@gmail.com> wrote:

>

>

> The ability to do so is important, because proof is central to

> mathematics. Those who can't distinguish between good argument and bad

> argument certainly ought not to be teaching mathematics. Even those who

> *can* do so but don't understand that proof is central to mathematics (and

> this includes many who mistakenly think that they want to major in

> mathematics) ought not to teach mathematics. (And the reason, I suspect,

> that the latter category includes so many who discover too late that they

> don't really want to study mathematics, is that too many of them make it

> through to become mathematics teachers. Allegedly, anyway.)

>

>

> Agreed.

>

>

> The aim of the test seems to be to test whether students can differentiate

> good arguments from bad arguments.

>

>

> The aim? The target is fine (as you wrote above), the aim is very poor. A

> survey format?

>

> I would have asked...

>

> 1. Is this proof correct?

> 2. If not, why?--

>

As usual, you asked something other than what you meant. You asked if the

test "is mathematics". It most certainly is.

Whether it's a good test of mathematics is quite another question, and one

you didn't ask.

--Louis A. Talman

Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences

Metropolitan State College of Denver

<http://rowdy.mscd.edu/%7Etalmanl>