Date: Jan 14, 2013 12:03 PM Author: Richard Hake Subject: Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life Before 5th<br> Grade? Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in a recent post

"Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life Before 5th

Grade?" [Hake (2013)]. The abstract reads:

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ABSTRACT: In response to my post "Einstein on Testing" [Hake (2013)]

at <http://bit.ly/UHjqET> the following lively exchange was recorded

on the archives <http://yhoo.it/iNTxrH> of EDDRA2 [non-subscribers

may have to set up a "Yahoo account" as instructed at

<http://yhoo.it/iNTxrH>]:

a. Literature major and Standardista-basher Susan Ohanian

<http://www.susanohanian.org/> stated that she (paraphrasing) "never

seemed to gain any insight from solving the calculus problems in

Courant's text, which struck her then as plodding and now as without

meaning."

b. Susan Harman then opined (my CAPS) "WE LEARN ALL THE MATH WE NEED

FOR ORDINARY LIFE BEFORE 5TH GRADE."

c. Guy Brandenberg countered by calling attention to David

Berlinski's "Tour of the Calculus" <http://amzn.to/11sZIUv> whose

publisher states: "Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would

have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the

effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove

that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall."

d. And Susan Ramlo made the point that students in her algebra-based

physics class "almost always make a comment about how suddenly . .

.[[after exposure to the *real-world* of physics]]. . . much more of

calculus makes sense."

With regard to Harman's opinion that "We Learn All the Math We Need

For Ordinary Life Before 5th Grade," basic to "ordinary life" is

motion and change, requiring the rudiments of calculus for proper

understanding (see the Bartlett signature quote).

And I agree with Ramlo's point about students' better understanding

calculus after exposure to the *real world* of physics. In

"Interactive-engagement methods in introductory mechanics courses" at

<http://bit.ly/aH2JQN> I wrote: "the term 'substantive

non-calculus-based mechanics course' is an oxymoron."

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To access the complete 13 kB post please click on <http://bit.ly/10sYmKl>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University

Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>

Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs: <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M>

Academia: <http://bit.ly/a8ixxm>

Blog: <http://bit.ly/9yGsXh>

GooglePlus: <http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE>

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to

understand exponential change."

- Albert Bartlett <http://bit.ly/VpN2pm> [I have taken the

liberty of substituting

"exponential change" for Bartlett's more esoteric "the

exponential function."]

REFERENCES [URL shortened by <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on 13 Jan 2013.]

Hake, R.R. 2013."Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life

Before 5th Grade?" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at

<http://bit.ly/10sYmKl>. Post of 13 Jan 2013 16:52:01-0800 to AERA-L

and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being

transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog

"Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/RQkucu> with a provision for

comments.