Thanks to Robert M. Panoff for resending these two interesting reactions to my questions.


Begin forwarded message:

From: "R. M. Panoff, Ph.D." <rpanoff@shodor.org>
Subject: Re: Moore method
Date: June 11, 2013 1:24:15 PM GMT+01:00
To: Jaime Carvalho e Silva <jaimecs@MAT.UC.PT>

Here are two responses to the question about the status of the Moore Method, both board members of the Shodor Education Foundation:

From D. E. "Steve" Stevenson, emeritus in Computer Science from Clemson University

"The Moore method is the basis of the problem-based learning stuff plus Socratic Method. The story is that Moore would come in, say "Any questions" and if none, dismiss the class. Eventually someone would have a question and away he'd go. Given who Moore was, he'd be teaching higher level classes with this method.

I use it always. I'd be critical of "new" methods that are really these methods in disguise."

From Dan Warner, Mathematics, Clemson University (and Householder Award winner)

"As a graduate student i had a summer class based on the Moore method.  Day one consisted of the professor stating the definition of Additive functions (NOT Linear functions).  Then he provided a list of 7 theorems that we should prove.  The last one was to show that if an additive function was not continuous then its graph was dense in the plane.  He talked long enough to make sure that we understood the questions, then he left.  It was a great course, because we had to do all the work, and it wasn't particularly applicable - so we couldn't look up the proofs.  As he said at the end of the course, "This math was worth doing, but not worth having done."

Since we have an archive of centuries of math, I think that the pure Moore method can not possibly be used to teach the quantity of math that most scientists and engineers need.  However, it is extremely powerful for teaching how to think."

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Robert M. Panoff, Ph.D.,  D.Sc., President and Executive Director
Shodor and the National Computational Science Institute
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