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Re: teaching to the test
Posted:
May 19, 1998 12:42 PM


In two lists I sunscribe to there is lots of excitement about the AP calculus test, but little excitement about calculus itself. Are we in the math business or the test business?
The famous French mathematician Henri Lebesgue addressed this point 70 years ago. He said:
"Unfortunately competitive examinations often encouage [an educational] deception. The teachers must train their students to answer little fragmentary questions quite well, and they give them model answers that are often veritable masterpieces and that leave no room for criticism. To achieve this, the teachers isolate each question from the whole of mathematics and create for this question alone a perfect language without bothering about its relationships to other questions. Mathematics is no longer a monument but a heap."
Jerry Uhl
 Jerry Uhl juhl@ncsa.uiuc.edu Professor of Mathematics 1409 West Green Street University of Illinois Urbana,Illinois 61801 Calculus&Mathematica Development Team
Any fool can know. The point is to understand. Albert Einstein
http://wwwcm.math.uiuc.edu http://netmath.math.uiuc.edu



