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Topic: Re: real world nonsense
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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: real world nonsense
Posted: Nov 28, 1995 11:47 AM
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At 11:14 AM 11/28/95, David K. Pugalee wrote:
>AIDS and humor. I can't let this escape without comment. There are a
>lot of questions which could be raised in a mathematical forum related to
>AIDS. I have seen high school student take the number of AIDS cases and
>the projections and discuss the graph of the data. Questions about the
>type of function to represent the situation emerges as well as how
>predictions are made.
>
>In reference to both Michaels: there are too many other topics which can
>be used to interject a little humor into the lesson. If one is going to
>use such methods, one should be willing to spend the time needed to
>discuss the subject and make sure that correct information is given.
>Using caution is selection of topics of sarcasm is an indication of
>exercising what I would consider to be acceptable professional judgment.
>What's even sadder is that people who are educated would allow such
>attempts to go without raising a flag. I would simply encourage both of
>you to reconsider your current process for selection of "appropriate" and
>"meaningful" topics for mathematics problems.
>
>David K. Pugalee, Saginaw Valley State University


David,

I would encourage you to make the distinction between my suggestion that,
handled intelligently, something could be gained from Michael South's
example (or, potentially, any subject), and your suggestion that I might be
advocating throwing caution to the winds. I'm not that stupid, and neither
are you, I'd venture.

But when someone starts to delimit what topics are and are not appropriate
and/or meaningful for mathematics classrooms, I'm always moved to ask him
or her to provide me with a complete list or set of guidelines. Clearly,
reliance on taste or professional judgment leaves too much up to matters of
individual whims and wisdom, both of which have a nasty habit of varying
among any sizeable sampling of Americans. So, in the interest of avoiding
making some horrible faux pas in the future, could you provide me with a
precise list of what I may or may not discuss in my classroom without fear?

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------
|Michael Paul Goldenberg
|University of Michigan 310 E. Cross St.
|School of Education 4002 Ypsilanti, MI 48198
|Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259 (313) 482-9585
|(313) 747-2244
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|"Truth is a mobile army of metaphors."
|Friedrich Nietzsche
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