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Topic: Re: Saxon's program
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Howard L. Hansen

Posts: 48
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Saxon's program
Posted: Dec 5, 1995 9:03 AM
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Thanks for the reasoned and thought-provoking comments. I'm a little
concerned with your second identified weakness associated with the UCSMP
materials. One of the main features of Usiskin's approach is the insistance
on students reading the text prior to the lesson, at least that's the thrust
in the training sessions. I agree it is absolutely essential for student's
to read the text and UCSMP are supposed to make this easier for students
and, again, to make reading the text a regular and indispensable part of the
matheamtics classroom.
What do you mean by "informal" and "formal" learning situations? Just
curious, no flame.


>>To give this a 'standards-based' flavor, I would make the personal observation
>>that I think that both the traditionalists and the reformists are wrong in
>>some basic ways. A portion of my students (in the community college
>>population) have gone through some reform-minded program in high school; most
>>of these use the Univ of Chicago texts with a scientific or graphing
>>calculator. In these students, it is clear that they have a positive
>>attitude about mathematics; that's a good change. However, they tend
>>to have two weaknesses:
>> 1) skills and understanding
>> It seems like some areas -- basic fraction ideas and concepts of
>> terms -- are especially likely to have problems. This relative
>> gaps are minor irritations; I can deal with these.
>> 2) learning abilities
>> More important to me, many students from such a background have
>> trouble adapting from informal to formal learning situations; in
>> particular, "reading the textbook" seems like an admission of
>> weakness, not a valuable study skill.

* Howard L. Hansen * Phone: (309) 298-2275 *
* Assistant Professor * Fax: (309) 298-2585 *
* Mathematics Education * E-mail: *
* Western Illinois University * WIU Math Education Web site: *
* Macomb, IL 61455 * *
* * mimath/wiu/mero/homepage.html *

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