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Topic: "presentation" -- reply to Philip M.
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William P. Berlinghoff

Posts: 21
Registered: 12/6/04
"presentation" -- reply to Philip M.
Posted: Mar 22, 1994 7:37 AM
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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 worst-case portrayal of rigidity. Let me
counter with a similar worst-case 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 exploration---even some unguided exploration---is 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 not-so-narrow 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

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