Date: Oct 21, 2012 2:43 AM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Jo Boaler reveals attacks by Milgram and Bishop

lajones posted Oct 20, 2012 5:13 PM (GSC's remarks interspersed):
> The quote inserted below is from the article that
> Wayne referenced earlier.

> > Beautiful... and exactly on point!
> >
> > "We should demand to hear the pros and cons of

> every
> > argument when it comes to our children's math
> > curriculum.
> >

I agree entirely.

In fact, we should demand to hear the pros and cons of every argument on any major issue that concerns us (and it distresses me, for one, that all too often we do not show concern on truly serious issues till it is too late.

For instance, when India won Independence, our human population was around 300,000 people; our tiger population was over 40,000; around 50% of our land area was under real forest cover.

Today (after 6 decades of 'development'), our human population numbers over 1.2 BBBBBBilllion people; our tiger population is less than 1700; we have less than 12% of our land area under forest cover, a good bit of that is degraded. We are in dire straits in many respects - and it all is a consequence of us NOT knowing the pros and the cons of the issues that should have concerned us over the years - and OF not asking the right questions (see below and attachment).
> > The distracting buzz of irrelevancies
> > like "pickaninnies" points to a failure in logic

> that
> > has no place in a discussion about math, of all
> > things."

Well, the 'distracting buzz' would not have arisen if Professor Bishop had not in passing actually made some such denigratory remark without having an appropriate context. I acknowledge that Professor Bishop has linked us to some kind of 'explanation' by some columnist (probably the same one you are quoting), to the effect that Professor Bishop's critics "do not understand ' sarcasm'". Though you seem to have bought it, I did not find that to be a convincing explanation.
> >
> > I believe that the general public would demand the
> > same now (10 YEARS LATER!) if they were aware of

> the
> > problems with mathed "research" cited repeatedly in
> > support of K-12 math programs.

In fact, the general public should have been asking better and more probing questions, 10 years ago (about the K-12 math programs); 20 years ago (about ...); 30 years ago (about ...); 40 years ago (remember the idiocies of that fabulous war in Vietnam?; about the Bourbaki movement in math); 50 years ago (about ...);... and so on and so forth forever amen. the 'question asking faculty' is most important (for children as well as for adults), but it is all too often very easily neglected in our traditional schools (in India; in the USA; elsewhere - it's a fundamental flaw of our educational systems). The attachment herewith discusses some aspects of this important faculty.