>It just occured to me that when I teach the junior-level mathematics >analysis course here at the University of Kansas things go a lot better if >I have students do little projects in which they are forced to grapple with >situations underlying difficult concepts *before* the concepts are defined >-- after all, that's where the concepts come from.
>I suspect that this is true to some extent at every level.
>This is not saying that we should always go from s. to g.; just that >sometimes it really works.
I agree ! Sometimes I start a lesson with my 7th & 8th graders saying "Here's an investigation I'd like to try - after you've looked at it for a while maybe you'd care to guess what today's lesson is about ?" -- these have become known as my "mystery topics" and seem to supply some intrigue and motivation to think about the investigation.
Faculty of Education FirstClass Server EduServ.EDU.YorkU.CA via ExpressNet/SMTP