Date: Jun 7, 2014 1:27 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: The CRUCIAL objective ahead of the 'math education system'
There are really very few 'really knotty' issues ahead for math education (whether in the USA or in India or anywhere else in the world).
In fact, I'd probably* be willing to give sizable odds that there is really only one issue ahead for 'school education'. That issue is:
"To design a math education system for schools that would help to remove (or at least to minimise) the sense of 'fear and loathing' for math that afflicts most students by the time they graduate from schools" (A).
I claim that - if this fine and noble aim is properly taken care of - practically ALL of the problems of 'math education' would be automatically effectively resolved.
- -- Students would for sure just love it!
- -- I'm pretty certain that parents would be overjoyed that they no longer have to break their heads to teach their children stuff that most of them have probably forgotten - and which many of them had 'feared and loathed' while they were studying. (Recall that even President Barack Obama - who is surely an extremely intelligent man notwithstanding any of the claims of 'israeliteknight' and other such intellectuals - had once confessed, somewhat shamefacedly to be sure, that he was rather poor at his school math). Further, we all know that there's a fair amount of 'new stuff' coming up most of the time, so that even parents who were once upon a time pretty good at math are sometimes hard-pressed to keep up with new ideas, new concepts, new ways of teaching math.
- -- I'm `100% certain that all math teachers would be overjoyed to confront classes full of willing, eager, KEEN students instead of a bunch of scowling faces who fear and loathe math.
- -- I'm also entirely sure that the public at large will not have to fear any more that the USA is losing out in the competition against Singapore, against China, against Korea, etc, etc...
- --School administrators will no longer find it to be a huge burden to get hold of and train competent math teachers.
- -- The schools of education would I believe react favorably, because they would no longer be faced with demands from angry professors like Wayne Bishop that they (the schools of education) should be "BLOWN UP!"
- -- Some text book publishers, whose 'door-stopper texts on math' would no longer be required, may not be in any kind of heaven - but I'm sure they will find that they actually have plenty more of other stuff to publish when their 'door-stoppers' are not really required any more.
- -- I believe Dom Rosa would also be happy, as his campaign against these door-stoppers has borne such wonderful fruit that he had never imagined would actually come to be!
- -- Even politicians will, I believe, find something in the situation to make them happy.
- -- Perhaps Haim would miss out on issuing his trenchant calls to "PUT THE EDUCATION MAFIA IN JAIL!" - as I believe there probably wouldn't be many people occupying this category any more. But he is a very clever man indeed - a 'genius' by some accounts - and he should be able to invent some other appropriate slogan.
- -- I guess Robert Hansen may miss PUSHING and GOADING students to learn math - but I'm certain he'd find that *successfully* ENCOURAGING students to learn math is far more enjoyable than PUSHING or GOADING.
Given all of the above, I'd guess that designing such a math education system as suggested at 'A' above would make most people very happy indeed.
*Probably: I'd need to do a fair bit of 'systems modeling' before I'd lay a wager on it.
Message was edited by: GS Chandy