Richard Hake
Posts:
1,228
From:
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered:
12/4/04


[mathlearn] Re: The Moore Method
Posted:
Feb 4, 2012 3:14 PM



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A physicist wrote to me privately "What term might be appropriate for the way R. L. Moore taught mathematics at the University of Texas?"
My response and references thereto might be of interest to some subscribers to MathLearn, MathTeach, PhysL, and PhysLnrR.
Moore's method <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore_method>, pioneered by topologist R.L. Moore <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.L._Moore> is usually called "The Moore Method"  see e.g., the references below in the REFERENCE list.
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) <rrhake@earthlink.net> Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0> Links to SDI Labs: <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M> Blog: <http://bit.ly/9yGsXh> Academia: <http://iub.academia.edu/RichardHake>
"Some say that the only possible effect of the Moore method is to produce research mathematicians, but I don't agree. The Moore method is, I am convinced the right way to teach anything and everything. It produces students who can understand and use what they have learned. . . . . . There is an old Chinese proverb that I learned from Moore himself: 'I hear, I forget; I see, I remember. I do, I understand.' " Paul Halmos (1988, p. 258)
"He who knows only his own generation Remains always a child." Cicero (in "Orator")
REFERENCES [All URL's accessed on 04 Feb 2012; most shortened by <http://bit.ly/>.] Benezet, L.P. (1935, 1936). "The Teaching of Arithmetic I, II, III: The Story of an Experiment." Journal of the National Education Association 24(8): 241244 (1935); 24(9): 301303 (1935); 25(1): 78 (1936). The articles (a) were reprinted in the Humanistic Mathematics Newsletter 6: 214 (May 1991); (b) are on the web along with other Benezetia at the Benezet Centre <http://bit.ly/926tiM>. See also Mahajan & Hake (2000).
Halmos, P.R., E.E. Moise, & G. Piranian. 1975. "The Problem of Learning to Teach," The American Mathematical Monthly 82(5): 466476; the first page is online at <http://www.jstor.org/pss/2319737>.
Halmos, P.R. 1988. "I Want to Be a Mathematician: An Automathography in Three Parts." Mathematical Association of America (MAA), publisher's information at <http://bit.ly/pKtfrL>. Amazon.com information at <http://amzn.to/oImPVB>.
Hake, R.R. 2007. "The Moore Method (was Richard Hake: On the Mazur Article)" online on the OPEN! PhysL archives at <http://bit.ly/zmFIr6> and on the OPEN! MathTeach archives at <http://bit.ly/zVQPga>, transmitted to various discussion lists including PhysLrnR and MathTeach. The CLOSED! :( PhysLrnR archives contain a valuable response from Jerry Epstein (2007). The OPEN! :) MathTeach archives contain 7 interesting responses at <http://bit.ly/zVQPga> (scroll down), some of them claiming that the Moore Method is well known to most mathematicians, contrary to my claim that "most of the current generation of physicists and mathematicians are oblivious of the 'Moore Method' [not to mention the 'Benezet Method' (1935/36)]."
Epstein, J. 2007. "Re: The Moore Method (was Richard Hake: On the Mazur Article," online on the CLOSED! PhysLrnR archives at <http://bit.ly/wFwEyL>. Epstein wrote: "There is no doubt in my mind that Moore's method is a forerunner of InquiryDiscovery methods, since he NEVER lectured in any way whatsoever, and taught students mathematics by having them work on problems, both in class and out. I too would agree that this is applicable far wider than research mathematicians, and one of its best applications would be in elementary school. There, I think it is the only kind of method that makes any sense at all. Would that there were enough elementary school teachers with the depth of understanding or ELEMENTARY mathematics to make use of it."
Mahajan, S. & R.R. Hake. 2000. "Is it time for a physics counterpart of the Benezet/Berman math experiment of the 1930's?" Physics Education Research Conference 2000: Teacher Education, online at <http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0512202>.
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