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Topic: Not just "Real-World" Math
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Ronald A Ward

Posts: 298
Registered: 12/4/04
Not just "Real-World" Math
Posted: Jul 13, 1995 5:18 PM
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I agree with Andrei and Tad that the curriculum should not be restricted
to only "real-world" 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 real-life 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 problem-solving 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 Tam-Tam," "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 make-believe, but the
mathematics is real enough--some would even say quite sophisticated for
elementary school.

Ron Ward/Western Washington U/Bellingham, WA 98225

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