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Topic: CL # 4, Some comments
Replies: 27   Last Post: Dec 11, 1996 4:08 PM

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Howard L. Hansen

Posts: 48
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: CL # 4, Some comments
Posted: Nov 10, 1996 11:53 PM
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Ralph A. Raimi wrote:
>... An example of a mathematical question is the
> narrower: "True or false? If (x,y) is (3,5) then 3x-5y=1."
> Educators are quite right to want to include more than
> mathematical questions in mathematics classes, but my narrower definition
> is intended to call attention to the fact that in mathematics there is no
> uncertainty or valid difference of opinion (at the school math level),
> and that what looks like something to be negotiated is mathematics it is
> really the social surrounding of the mathematics proper that admits of
> such uncertainty or multi-valuedness. For example, I would not want
> students to learn in one place that pi is 3.14 and in another that it is
> an irrational number, and that the truth about pi is something contingent
> on circumstance. This is, alas, the kind of thing that gets conveyed by
> some forms of instruction. It should be made plain that the use of 3.14
> is driven by extra-mathematical considerations as well as mathematical
> ones, and it is these extra-mathematical considerations that children
> striving to model a real-life situation are entitled to argue and negotiate.

floor at some time in the debate.

True or false? If a quadrilateral is a parallelogram, then it is a

True or false? The equation x^2 - 2x + 1 has two roots.

True or false? Two distinct lines in the same plane intersect at one
and only one point.

Howard L. Hansen
Southeastern Jr./Sr. High School
Bowen, IL
"Good mathematics is not how many answers you know,
but how you behave when you don't know the answer."

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