Search All of the Math Forum:
Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by
NCTM or The Math Forum.



Eval. Stds. Follow Up
Posted:
Feb 7, 1997 7:37 PM


In question 35 of post #5, I raised a question about different definitions or meanings of the term "MATHEMATICAL POWER." Some readers wrote to say that they did not have access to "Everybody Counts" or to the Professional Standards, although they did have the 1989 document. So, I'm going to go ahead and list here two definitions which I think are quite different from each other and quite different from that in the 1989 document.
EVERYBODY COUNTS: "A capacity of mind of increasing value in a technological age that enables one to read critically, to identify fallacies, to detect bias, to assess risk, and to suggest alternatives." Elsewhere in the same document: "Mathematical power requires that students be able to discern relations, reason logically, and use a broad spectrum of mathematical methods to solve a variety of nonroutine problems."
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS: "Mathematical power includes the ability to explore, conjecture, and reason logically; to solve nonroutine problems; to communicate about and through mathematics; and to connect ideas within mathematics and between mathematics and other intellectual activity. Mathematical power also involves the development of personal selfconfidence and a disposition to seek, evaluate, and use quantitative and spatial information in solving problems and in making decisions. Students' flexibility, perseverance, interest, curiosity, and inventiveness also affect the realization of mathematical power."
Ron Ward



