> > Having said all this, let me concede that my position within > the writing team for MATH Connections is that of the > dissenting minority viewpoint. > > Bill Berlinghoff, Senior Writer, MATH Connections >
Bill makes it sound like he's an outlier. Actually, I'm not sure there is enough of a well-formed consensus among the project staff to make outlier identification possible. I agree with the sentiments expressed in Bill's posting. (I am another of the 3 senior writers on this project.) The whole idea of an axiomatic system seems to me a central notion of western thought that has had as much impact on physics and philosophy as on mathematics. For that reason, I think it is especially important for non-mathma majors to be exposed to this, probably in the realm where it first surfaced historically. On the other hand, I think many high school students may not have the mental maturity to handle an axiomatic system, and so trying to do axiomatics for an entire year almost unavoidably leads to a trivialization into rote memorization so that more than a few students can pass the course. I'm not sure how this conflict should be resolved.
_ | | Robert W. Hayden | | Department of Mathematics / | Plymouth State College | | Plymouth, New Hampshire 03264 USA | * | (603) 536-2497 (until 30 December 1993) / | (603) 968-9914 | ) (603) 535-2489 L_____/ firstname.lastname@example.org