On Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:18:21 -0600, Robert Hansen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> One such conspiracy is that we teach math in a way that makes students > hate it. That students are born with a natural affinity for it and we > kill that affinity. A more reasonable explanation, is that many students > simply don?t like practicing math. Just as they don?t like practicing > music.
Most students don't like practicing *arithmetic*, which they've been taught to equate with mathematics. They learn the latter lesson very well: Someone asked my wife the other day if I can multiply large numbers in my head.
There's your "dark force". Very few people like doing arithmetic by hand; almost as many aren't very accurate at it. Why *should* anyone like it? And we teach them that what they don't like is the heart of mathematics.
So, yes. We do teach mathematics in a way that makes students hate it. I hated arithmetic, too, and I thought I hated mathematics until I reached algebra and calculus. I took the latter two because it was expected of me---not because I knew that I would like them.
- --Louis A. Talman Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences Metropolitan State University of Denver