The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Education » mathedu

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: New Post at RME: Who Was George Polya's Intended Audience? (Or More Mathema
Replies: 9   Last Post: Sep 11, 2010 12:49 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
New Post at RME: Who Was George Polya's Intended Audience? (Or More Mathema
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 4:40 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Please read the latest post at "Who Was George Polya's Intended Audience? (Or More Mathematically Correct Lies)"

Excerpt: One of the more difficult aspects of wars, even ones where the main ammunition is words, is separating lies from facts. Every side in a war has a proclivity for propaganda. Inconvenient facts are brushed aside. Inaccuracies, petty or gross, become the coin of the realm. The Big Lie rules.

Of course, sometimes, it is possible to sort through the fog of war to arrive at what appears to be incontrovertible truth. It may take years, even decades, to find the facts, even when they are readily available to anyone who bothers to look in the right place for them. Sometimes, they've been staring everyone in the face for a very long time.

Thus, it is with no small embarrassment that I present a long-overdue and clearly definitive retort to one of the lies frequently promulgated a decade or so ago by Professor Wayne Bishop and some of his Mathematically Correct and HOLD anti-progressive allies, namely that George Polya's work on heuristic methods (from the Greek "???????" for "find" or "discover": an adjective for experience-based techniques that help in problem solving, learning and discovery) was intended only for graduate students or perhaps undergraduate mathematics majors, not for the general student of mathematics, and certainly not for high school students or younger children.

Of course, in the Math Wars, it is of the utmost importance to the counter-revolutionaries and anti-progressives that nothing that broadens access to mathematics be allowed to stand unchallenged or unsullied. Any curriculum, pedagogy, tool, etc., that is brought forward by reformers as "worth trying" must be smashed. That has been the tireless task of members of groups like Mathematically Correct and HOLD: to undermine any and all efforts to change what they view as immutable approaches to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Read the entire post at:

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.