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Recap: Letter to Arne Duncan etc.
Posted:
Mar 31, 2010 1:12 PM


Just to recap some recent points, in my view almost everything the Obama administration wants to accomplish is undercut by a school system choosing not to inform our children about some of the important developments of the 20th century, in particular a simple whole number volumes approach to spatial geometry which includes a minimum spacefilling tetrahedron of volume 1/8.
Including this information would not require tossing out the Euclidean material, which gets touted as a model of rational thinking. On the other hand, excluding this info is hardly rational, and so again, the central point is in danger of getting lost.
If the goal is to think rationally, why cruelly censor some easy insights, sharable at all levels? What's so rational about that? Why not connect these dots while we still have that option?
Robert, did you find any textbooks covering this information? Amy's book was both admired and attacked, but isn't a textbook.
The info is everywhere nevertheless (like on Wikipedia). Even Math World can't seem to bring itself to discuss spacefilling tetrahedra on its page on spacefilling polyhedra. Why does that seem to bother only me?
http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2010/03/viewfromabroad.html
Before I learned of Jaime Escalante's passing, I was suggesting in the blog post below that we continue celebrating his contributions:
http://mybizmo.blogspot.com/2010/03/fouryearslater.html
I know I keep harping on the same themes, so it's easy to see me as some kind of fanatic. Cogent debate would be preferable to me just talking to myself.
Actually, I'm aware of a large, concerned readership, not necessarily tracking this particular archive, that shares similar anxieties. This isn't that hard a story to follow.
Maybe there will be something in a newspaper someday? Lets face it, my blogs are kind of obscure, as is mathteach here at the Math Forum.
If people want some reform in what happens in math education, this "verboten math" might be a topic worthy of investigation.
Kirby



