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Topic: Re: Casualty of the Math Wars
Replies: 1   Last Post: Oct 19, 2012 9:42 PM

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: Casualty of the Math Wars
Posted: Oct 15, 2012 6:56 PM
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Some subscribers to MathEdCC might be interested in a recent post
"Re: Casualty of the Math Wars" [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Scott Jaschik (2012), in his exemplary "Inside Higher Ed"
report "Casualty of the Math Wars" at <> wrote

"Jo Boaler <>, a full professor at Stanford
University argues that new approaches - group work, real-life
examples, and solving problems students can relate to - have the
potential to transform the way students interact with mathematics.
Traditional methods, which emphasize students learning key principles
and facts, have resulted in schools in which too many students feel
early on that they just 'don't get math,' and shy away from the
subject. So why does Boaler feel under siege?

On 12 Oct 2012 she posted on her own website 'When Academic
Disagreement Becomes Harassment and Persecution' at
<> an account of what she terms unfair personal
and professional attacks in an unpublished critique 'A Close
Examination of Jo Boaler's Railside Report' at
<> by James Milgram of Stanford and Wayne
Bishop of CalState-L.A.

Of her critics, Keith Devlin <> director of the
Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute at
Stanford, said 'I suspect they fear her because she brings hard data
that threatens their view of how children should be taught
mathematics.' He said that the criticisms of Boaler reach 'the point
of character assassination.'

Alan Schoenfeld <> of the University of
California at Berkeley, a past president of the American Educational
Research Association and past vice president of the National Academy
of Engineering, said 'The discussion of Boaler's work 'fits into the
context of the math wars, which have sometimes been argued on
principle, but in the hands of a few partisans, been vicious and
vitriolic.' He said that he is on a number of informal mathematics
education networks, and that the response to Boaler's essay 'has been
swift and, most generally, one of shock and support for Boaler.' One
question being asked, he said, is why Boaler was investigated and no
university has investigated the way Milgram and Bishop have treated

To access the complete 14 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <>
Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs: <>
Academia: <>
Blog: <>
GooglePlus: <>
Twitter: <>

"Let the war rage." - Wayne Bishop

"Can't we all just get along?" - Rodney King
The above two quotes were cited by Alan Schoenfeld (2004) in his
essay "The Math Wars."

Hake, R.R. 2012. "Re: Casualty of the Math Wars," online on the OPEN!
AERA-L archives at <>. Post of 15 Oct 2012
12:18:37-0700. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog
"Hake'sEdStuff" at <> with a provision for

Schoenfeld, A.H. 2004. "The Math Wars," Educational Policy 18(1):
253-286; online as a 164 kB pdf at <>.

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