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"presentation"  reply to Philip M.
Posted:
Mar 22, 1994 7:37 AM


Dear Philip,
In regard to the "implicit assumption" that you think you detect, I believe you read more into the word "present" than was intended. Nevertheless, we may still differ around the general point. Your interpretation of "presentation" seems to be a worstcase portrayal of rigidity. Let me counter with a similar worstcase portrayal of the alternative:
When you speak of "exploration," do you mean that a geometry course should consist ENTIRELY of letting students loose with a few tools and drawing implements to rediscover in their 9th and/or 10th grade what it took humankind several thousand years to construct and organize? I hope not (although I have seen that approach proposed with a straight face). SOME explorationeven some unguided explorationis useful and appropriate, but we do our students a disservice if we simply allow them to thrash about in deep water. We, as teachers, are paid to find and follow the notsonarrow path between benign neglect and overbearing dictatorship.
When I speak of presenting an idea, I am speaking as a writer of text materials. If you don't believe in having a text, then there is no need or purpose for further discussion, because what I'm doing will be of no use to you. On the other hand, if you agree that a text may be useful for a mathematics class, then we can/must examine the question of how ideas will be presented in that text.
Bill Berlinghoff



