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Topic: Bill's posting
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Bob Hayden

Posts: 2,384
Registered: 12/6/04
Bill's posting
Posted: Jan 26, 1994 4:55 PM
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> 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

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