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Topic: MPG and diagramming
Replies: 13   Last Post: Aug 2, 1995 5:43 PM

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Norm Krumpe

Posts: 53
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: MPG and diagramming
Posted: Jul 27, 1995 2:13 PM
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>I have a serious question, one I hope people will not not view as cynical, but
>rather as inquisitive. I am the one who fails to see what use diagramming
>sentences serves. Some of you have supported it. I sincerely want to
>understand to what purpose it exists. Some of my colleagues have supported it
>as necessary in the understanding of languages. I can certainly understand
>that and as such it should perhaps be included in a study of languages, in

>context it might make more sense; but is it necessary to develop the ability
>to write? How do you see that it has served you as an adult? This is not
>intended as a cynical post. I am merely pondering whether there are
>approaches in both language and mathematics education that need to be

"How do you see that it has served you as an adult?" Indeed, this is a
legitimate question. And, indeed, it is the same question students often
ask in many of their classes. It would seem that many of the skills I
learned in school have not been put to use now that I am an adult.
Diagramming sentences, reciting the state capitals, dissecting a frog,
listing the prime numbers from 1 to 100, etc. These are skills which, with
the exception of listing prime numbers, I really have no use for in *my*
daily life. I included the listing of prime numbers simply because I think
*most* people do not use this skill in their daily life, even though I use
it as a mathematics educator.

So, is there a higher purpose for each of these skills?

While I am seldom asked to name the state capitals, the fact that I now know
them is useful when I follow the news.

While I am never asked to dissect frogs anymore, I have a better
understanding of what are the basic internal systems of the body and, thus,
can understand my own existence a little better.

And, while I am never asked to diagram sentences anymore, I have a better
grasp of what constitutes good sentence structure (even though some of these
sentences may not demonstrate my understanding). I think diagramming has
helped me to compose better sentences both orally and in writing.

Of course, this is based only on one person's experience (namely, mine).
But I do believe that diagramming has its place in the classroom. However,
in some english classrooms, diagramming may receive too much emphasis, as do
some skills in mathematics classrooms.

Just some thoughts...

Norm Krumpe

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