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Topic: Re: relax gary (3rd try)
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W Gary Martin

Posts: 80
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: relax gary (3rd try)
Posted: Jun 1, 1995 12:35 PM
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Sorry if my response appeared condescending or mean-spirited. And I
certainly was not in a rage; exasperated was closer how I felt. As for
whether you were justified in making your original response, well I'll
leave that for others to judge.

What I find really objectionable is your apparent implication that: If
something is wrong, it must be the STUDENT'S fault. Harv, we can only
progress as individual professionals, and as a profession, by honestly
evaluating the effects of the things we do. Putting the blame on a lack of
student attention or motivation, in my mind, undermines us as a profession.
It all comes down to... WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS? Keep
complaining about the inadequacies of our students? Or find constructive
and positive courses of action that will help ALL students learn as much as
they possibly can? Say "it was her fault, she probably wasn't listening"?
Or come up with approaches that make the material come alive for her?

As to "who cares about corresponding angles". I stick by my point. If
students can see that something interesting going on in a situation, there
is much more interest in subsequently defining things and trying to nail
down their relationships. Defining things first means the students must
trust their teacher's knowledge (that there is some reason for these
definitions no matter how silly they may appear) rather than trusting in
their own ability to understand mathematics.

As to why she had to come to me for help, you asked this in a post
yesterday, and I already responded in a private post (sent at 4:24 HST
yesterday afternoon, 10:24 EST), which I include below. Sorry if this
appears (appeared?) condescending.
>Good question, Harv. Well, it's like this. Not all of the sides were given
>and her geometry was a little rusty. It had been a few years since she had
>used the Pythagorean Theorem. And in some cases coordinates were given
>instead of sides so it wasn't clear that there was even a triangle. Would
>these be good reasons for asking for help in your opinion?
>Your friend,

Again, I apologize for the apparent tone of my message(s). Unfortunately,
one's tone of voice and nonverbals do not communicate well over the net. :(


W. Gary Martin 1776 University Ave.
University of Hawaii Honolulu, HI 96822
Curriculum R & D Group (808)956-9956; FAX (808)956-4984

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