The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jun 17, 2014 9:02 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]

Watch Watch this User
Re: Why do so many of us hate math?
Posted: Jun 17, 2014 8:46 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply
att1.html (2.8 K)

On Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 4:32 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:

> On Jun 16, 2014, at 6:07 PM, kirby urner <> wrote:

> > It's just in math class there seems to have been a century-long
> conspiracy to drain it of as much appreciative content as possible and make
> all heads down drill and kill. No history, no bios, no art, no dots
> connecting. Just linear plodding from topic to topic, supposedly
> intrinsically fun.
> Just to be clear, it isn?t my position that the curriculum should be
> drained of all appreciative content.

Good, so lets agree that it needs to be intrinsically fun at the end of the

It's just if it's all heads-down exercises, blinders on at all times,
that's not really the whole of what math is.

You actually need that narrative glue, the associations among concepts.
How does Mandelbrot relate to Bourbaki? Just askin'.

Just like in music you need to see how one tune alludes to another, by
quoting it or echoing it or whatever. Movies: same thing. You build up
what's called a "body of knowledge".

But STEM and especially the M part is super-duper compartmentalized, walled
off, turned into a vocational torture chamber of exercises, a workout that
goes on and on and on, but when will they tell you anything big picture?

They won't because they can't, they're just run-o-the-mill-math teachers.
Not know-it-alls, not even especially well informed, just good at a few
languages games (computational thinking), and able to make a buck.

Now not every teacher is like that, and I probably had way more than my
share of good teachers, but the curricula are even worse. Why would I buy
*any* of those silly books, is what I'd like to know. Or what if I want to
use a more cut 'n paste approach?

That's what my rant was about: the poverty of the curriculum when it comes
to recog.

Don't paint me as thinking math isn't fun.

I think it's fun, I'm good at it, got all the top awards in high school and
BS like that, but that's just idle bragging and makes me sound like another
stupid moron. Why did I go with DENSA instead of MENSA? To get away from
nerds like that.

Anyway, just sayin', we don't disagree: STEM is a barrel of monkeys.


Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.