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Topic: History
Replies: 14   Last Post: Sep 2, 2000 3:10 PM

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Wayne Bishop

Posts: 5,465
Registered: 12/6/04
re: History
Posted: Sep 2, 2000 3:10 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

In spite of the fact that MPG has wisely advised us to shun his messages, I
find it almost impossible to break old habits.

Frank Gardella asked:
>Does anyone know where this is actually happening?

The answer is sure, most of us who teach at third (or is it fourth?) rate
institutions recognize the problem. To deny its existence may feel good
but does not help. Is it universal among all of the students? Of course
not, I did not mean to imply any such thing. It is not true for the
majority of the enrollees in our history of mathematics course, but it is
true for too many of them. They're the same ones who never got over the
Asses Bridge. Some of them will go out and pretend that they know more
about how geometry should be taught than those who skipped over it whistling.

I agree that it is appropriate to thank those who offered direct response
to the request and do also. A lack of a knowledge of the history of
mathematics is not what ails U.S. mathematics education, however, nor is it
a lack of knowledge of the history of its education. The lack of Ma's PUFM
is *much* more serious so I've never understood why history of mathematics
is deemed so important but mathematics competence less so. Perhaps some
will offer advice as to what their institutions do to assure mathematics
competence of prospective and continuing teachers? California uses the
Praxis for those who did not successfully complete an approved list of
courses but we have a hellish percentage on emergency or provisional
credentials that have done neither. That is much of the reason that some
of us pre-collegiate reformers are so concerned about curriculum. What do
others do?


At 01:35 PM 9/2/00 -0400, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:
> >From: Frank Gardella <>
> >Reply-To:
> >To:
> >Subject: Re: History
> >Date: Sat, 02 Sep 2000 00:51:34 -0400
> >
> ><<Wayne Bishop wrote:
> >
> >Too many of our education students take history of mathematics as a way to
> >*avoid* mathematics >>
> >
> >
> >
> >Does anyone know where this is actually happening? If it does happen, it
> >should be changed. If it doesn't, then this is the type of generalization
> >which does no one any good.
> >
> >Also, I thinkt a history of mathematics education must include a thorough
> >study of the many reform movements and what caused them.
> >
> >It would be interesting to add to David Slavit's list. No paragraphs.
> >Just
> >outline notes to add to David's great start.
> >
> >Take care,
> >
> >Frank Gardella
> >Hunter College

>While we wait for some proof of yet another fascinating claim, I'd like to
>thank those who have provided substantive replies and useful information
>on what might make for an effective history of mathematics course. It's
>unfortunate that some people are so insecure that they not only need to
>attack teaching the pedagogical and philosophical aspects of mathematics,
>but the study of its history as well.
>One wonders what the great polymath, Leibniz, would have thought of such
>narrow minds.
>p.s.: It's 9/2 and the list seems to yet live.
>Michael Paul Goldenberg Washtenaw Technical Middle College
>5900 Bridge Rd #715 LA 230L
>Ypsilanti, MI 48197 Ann Arbor, MI 48106
>home 734 482-0497 work 734 973-3410
>cell 734 604-8559
>"Truth is a mobile army of metaphors." Friedrich Nietzsche

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