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Not just "RealWorld" Math
Posted:
Jul 13, 1995 5:18 PM


I agree with Andrei and Tad that the curriculum should not be restricted to only "realworld" applications or illustrations of mathematics. This is particularly true at the elementary level where, in my opinion, a child's "fantasy" world is about as "real" to the child as those typically identified as such. Personally, I find many reallife applications boring.
I would much prefer an elementary curriculum such as the one distributed by the McREL Educational Lab which liberally employs fantasy situations within a pedagogy of problemsolving situations [in the sense that Caleb Gattegno used that pedagogy].
Here are some sample lesson titles: "Spies and Bridges," "Marriage by Chance," "The Island of TamTam," "A Very Strange Neighborhood," "Election in the Number World," "A Valentine Mystery," "The Hidden Treasure," "Summer Camp," "Number 1000's Dream," and "Seven Secret Numbers," to name a few. The situations are all makebelieve, but the mathematics is real enoughsome would even say quite sophisticated for elementary school.
Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225 ronaward@henson.cc.wwu.edu



