Search All of the Math Forum:
Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by
NCTM or The Math Forum.



Re: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math' ..>>> oops
Posted:
Nov 5, 2013 9:31 PM


correction: " ... that he or she DOES have a "nonmathematical mind."
  From: "Clyde Greeno @ MALEI" <greeno@malei.org> Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 5:29 PM To: <mathteach@mathforum.org> Subject: Re: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'
> This thread is running far away from the point of the article ... its > rhetorical weaknesses notwithstanding. The "myth" of which it speaks is a > personbyperson conviction of the individual, that he or she does not > have a "nonmathematical mind." > > It stems from regarding "mathematics" as being the kind of things that the > learner encountered in school/college courses that were labeled > "mathematics" ... and from rationally floundering with that schoolkind of > "mathematics." Those scholastic experiences ... so labeled ... literally > *define* whatever the word, "mathematics", means for students. In reality, > it is a belief that he/she does not have the kind of mind that can > effectively and efficiently learn THAT kind of *school mathematics*. > > Closely associated with the article is students' beliefs that being "good > at math" equates with easily earning good grades in such "school math" ... > even though the "school math" may be nonsensible, irrational, > parrottraining to perform testitems. Many victims of severe "math > anxiety" suffer from being too mathematical for how they are being > "taught." > > In the researchoriented, MALEI Mathematical Learning Clinic we have found > that a major cause for students being "no good at math" is that they are > TOO good at math. The students who appear to be "really good at math" > often are students who are really good only at programming themselves to > execute dataprocessing routines ... and at regurgitating dialog ... in > ways that result in high scores. But there are other students whose minds > so insist on knowing the contentmeanings of the jargon ... and on > grasping the mathematical commonsensibility of the concepts, facts, and > processes ... that their minds are unwilling to play mathematical blind > man's bluff well, if at all. In some very extreme cases, they were > "assessed" as being mathematically retarded because they were too > theoretical to digest the garbage fed to them by the drill&kill > workbooks. > > The nonmyth is that most students sooner or later flounder with *that* > kind of "mathematics" ... revealing that , in fact, they are "no good at > [that school kind of] mathematics" ... even if very good at some forreal > mathematics that they do not recognize as being "mathematics" (as defined > by their scholastic experiences). > > No myth: lots of people are "bad at math" [school math and real math]. > Widespread myth: finding it difficult to earn high scores in courses or on > tests that someone calls "mathematics" is a sign of low aptitude? NOT SO. > To the contrary, it might be a sign of a creative, analytic, > rationallearning, theoristic, mathematical mind that cannot cope with > mathematically nonsensible "mathematics" curricula. You will never find > students who have strong reading/writing skills who also are lacking in > mathematical aptitude ... even if they cannot pass the usual first course > in high school algebra. [Make that course fully commonsensible, and they > can sail through it.] > >   > From: "Louis Talman" <talmanl@gmail.com> > Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 10:29 AM > To: "Robert Hansen" <bob@rsccore.com> > Cc: <mathteach@mathforum.org> > Subject: Re: The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math' > >> On Tue, 05 Nov 2013 06:58:20 0700, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> >> wrote: >> >>> I don't understand the question.:) >> >> Denying that there's a problem is one approach. >> >>  Louis A. Talman >> Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences >> Metropolitan State University of Denver >> >> <http://rowdy.msudenver.edu/~talmanl>



