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Topic: [math-learn] What Mathematicians Might Learn From Physicists: Response to
Hansen

Replies: 5   Last Post: Aug 19, 2012 4:02 PM

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Ed Wall

Posts: 837
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: [math-learn] What Mathematicians Might Learn From Physicists: Response to Hansen
Posted: Aug 19, 2012 2:46 PM
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I normally try to avoid responding to Ze'ev's post as they often tend to be "tediously repetitive, self-referential, and empty of useful content." However, I do admit they have one redeeming quality; i.e. they are not spread far and wide. So, I have a suggestion: Stop!

Ed Wall

On Aug 19, 2012, at 2:25 PM, Ze'ev Wurman wrote:

> I normally try to avoid responding to Hake's messages as they tend to be
> tediously repetitive, self-referential, and empty of useful content, not
> to mention that they are spread far and wide to any mailing list that
> cares to have him as a member irrespective of whether the message is
> relevant to that group or not. In this case, however, I will make an
> exception because it exceeds even Hake's average in its pomposity and
> conceit. I am particularly drawn to Hake's parenthetical
> pseudo-objective comment:
>
> "[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]"
>
> One needs to go the the full post to see what raised Hake's ire. To
> support his insult of "illiteracy" Hake raises Hansen's use of
> "disinterested" adjective, arguing that "Hansen probably meant
> "uninterested" not "disinterested," the latter meaning "not having a
> personal interest, impartial." Yet Hake's expertise lies presumably in
> physics, not in linguistic (or in education, despite Hake's
> pretentions). Had he checked the Oxford English Dictionary he would have
> seen that the *first* listed meaning is "Without interest or concern;
> not interested, unconcerned" -- precisely the way Hansen used it. Only
> the second OED meaning lists it as "Not influenced by interest;
> impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced." So who is illiterate here?
>
> Hake then tries to reject Hansen's arguments. Unsuccessfully as far as I
> am concerned, but that is neither here nor there. But nothing justifies
> Hake's summary, except his own conceit and his own inflated self-image:
> "Although Hansen seems to regard himself as an authority on education
> and the epitome of the traditionally educated individual, IMHO his
> Math-Teach posts stand testimony to his closed mind and the failure of
> traditional methods of instruction." I can hardly find a better
> description of Hake himself, replacing "traditional" with "PER."
>
> It is considered uncivil to pick on minor stylistic and grammatical
> issues in blog posts and emails -- they are often written in haste and
> include people from various cultures and linguistic backgrounds. The
> focus should be on the content rather than on form. Yet this is
> precisely what Hake does, and not for the first time -- it's just was so
> bad this time that I couldn't hold off anymore on his arrogant rubbish.
> And Hake's pseudo-solicitous "Robert please correct me if you think my
> paraphrasing distorts your intended meaning" tries to rub it in even
> more, exhibiting Hake's own typical small mindedness and pretentious
> pseudo-academicism.
>
> Ze'ev
>
> On 8/19/2012 8:28 AM, Richard Hake wrote:

>>
>> Some subscribers to Math-Learn 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 <http://bit.ly/ROjN2T>, MathTeach's
>> Robert Hansen (2012) at <http://bit.ly/S1Rcpn> first quoted from
>> David Bressoud's (2012a) "Learning from the Physicists" at
>> <http://bit.ly/MrAuyZ>:
>>
>> "Unfortunately, the experience of the physicists. . . . [[according
>> to Henderson et al. at <http://bit.ly/MWSxIU>]]. . . ., 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
>> approaches to teaching. THE GREATEST PROBLEM IS IN GETTING FACULTY TO
>> STICK WITH THESE STRATEGIES." [My CAPS.]
>>
>> 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 <http://bit.ly/NxE6kB>.
>>
>> Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
>> Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>
>> Links to SDI Labs: <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M>
>> Academia: <http://bit.ly/a8ixxm>
>> Blog: <http://bit.ly/9yGsXh>
>> Twitter <http://bit.ly/juvd52>
>> GooglePlus: <http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE>
>>
>> REFERENCES [URL shortened by <http://bit.ly/> 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
>> <http://bit.ly/NxE6kB>. 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 <http://bit.ly/MEwmvH> with a provision for
>> comments.
>>
>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>>
>>

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