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Topic: Re: Do not pass this by: Seventeen very well-spent minutes with Conrad W
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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
Re: Do not pass this by: Seventeen very well-spent minutes with Conrad W
Posted: Dec 10, 2010 10:41 PM
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Some subscribers to MathEdu might be interested in a recent post "Re:
Do not pass this by: Seventeen very well-spent minutes with Conrad W"
[Hake (2010)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Michael Paul Goldenberg called attention to a video by
Conrad Wolfram titled: "Teaching kids real math with computers"
<>. Jonathan Groves responded:

". . . .Conrad Wolfram. . . . gets to one root of the problem with
mathematics education: We spend far too much time teaching hand
computation and too little time on other aspects of problem solving:
interpreting the problem, setting up a mathematical model for the
problem, and interpreting the results of the mathematics in light of
the problem we are trying to solve."

Well said, Jonathan Groves!

Wolfram made two points worth elaborating:

(1) teaching hand calculation is still useful as a basis for mental
estimation - see e.g., Mahajan's (2010) "Street-Fighting Mathematics."

(2) Because of its computational complexity, calculus has
traditionally been taught very late; but by using computers, calculus
concepts are "amenable to a much younger age group."

In my opinion, programs such as Wolfram's "Computer-based Math"
<> and the Kaput Center's (2010) "Math In Motion"
<>, if used in K-8, can pave the way for the
education of ninth graders in the basic ideas of Newtonian mechanics
- thus facilitating Leon Lederman's (2001) "Physics First."

To access the complete 13 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the
Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)

"Above all things we must be aware of what I will call 'inert ideas'
- that is to say, ideas that are merely received into the mind
without being utilized, or tested, or thrown into fresh combinations."
Alfred North Whitehead (1929, 1967) in "The Aims of Education"

REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by <> and accessed on
10 Dec 2010.]

Hake, R.R. 2010. "Re: Do not pass this by: Seventeen very well-spent
minutes with Conrad W," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at
<>. Post of 10 Dec 2010 14:02:20-0800 to AERA-L
and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
transmitted to various discussion lists are also online on my blog
"Hake'sEdStuff" at
<> with a provision for comments.

Whitehead, A. N. 1967. "Aims of Education and other essays. " Free
Press. information at <>. First
published in 1929. Note the "Look Inside" feature.

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