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Topic: What Mathematicians Might Learn From Physicists: Response to

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,251
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
What Mathematicians Might Learn From Physicists: Response to

Posted: Aug 19, 2012 11:28 AM
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Some subscribers to MathEdCC might be interested in a recent
discussion-list post " What Mathematicians Might Learn From
Physicists: Response to Hansen" [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: In response to my post "What Mathematicians Might Learn
From Physicists [Hake (2012b)] at <>, MathTeach's
Robert Hansen (2012) at <> first quoted from
David Bressoud's (2012a) "Learning from the Physicists" at

"Unfortunately, the experience of the physicists. . . . [[according
to Henderson et al. at <>]]. . . ., demonstrates
that the existence of research based instructional strategies. . . .
[[RBIS]]. . . . together with documentation of their effectiveness is
not sufficient to guarantee their widespread adoption. Why not?. . .
. . The work that they have done via surveys of physics faculty
demonstrates that the greatest problem is not in making faculty aware
of what has been done, or even in getting faculty to try different

Hansen then proceeded to ignore Bressoud's answer: "The greatest
problem is in getting faculty to stick with these strategies" as
derived from Henderson et al. and gave his own answers to Bressoud's
question: "Why doesn't the existence of RBIS together with
documentation of their effectiveness guarantee their widespread
adoption?" [paraphrasing in an attempt to eliminate at least some of
Hansen's ambiguity, illiteracy, imprecision, redundancy, and
verbosity - Robert please correct me if you think my paraphrasing
distorts your intended meaning]:

The physicists' research based instructional strategies [RBIS]:

1. appear very compromised, designed as they are for only
academically uninterested terminal students;

2. lack the essentials for academically interested students: rigor,
detail, development, and challenge;

3. claim to be "successful," but here the accepted notion of
"success" is replaced with something entirely different;

4. doomed because they don't produce advocates.

In this post I show that Hansen's four answers (above) to Bressoud's
question are all blatantly incorrect.

To access the complete 41 kB post please click on <>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <>
Links to SDI Labs: <>
Academia: <>
Blog: <>
Twitter <>
GooglePlus: <>

REFERENCES [URL shortened by <> and accessed on 18 August 2012.
Hake, R.R. 2012. " What Mathematicians Might Learn From Physicists:
Response to Hansen" online on the OPEN AERA-L archives at
<>. Post of 18 Aug 2012 14:55:51-0700 to AERA-L
and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog
"Hake'sEdStuff" at <> with a provision for

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