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Topic: MC spin
Replies: 7   Last Post: Jun 26, 2000 1:48 PM

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Ted Alper

Posts: 118
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: intriguing discussion
Posted: Jun 22, 2000 3:42 PM
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I agree with Josh all the way down to his last sentence:

>I think the arguments over what specific topics are useful in algebra 1 are
>just as useful as the arguments that, say, Stanford has about what books
>ought to be read in their freshman CIV courses.

My impression is that the arguments about reading lists for CIV
(Cultures, Ideas, and Values, I think -- though the name was chosen to
suggest Civilization, too -- anyhow, it's being called something like
I-Hum now: "Introduction to Humanities" but also suggesting personal
humming) are mostly worthless -- the specific books matter much less
than the thoughtfulness with which they are studied.

But the choice of topics in algebra I can matter a lot. To some
extent, it is still true that the specific topics are less important
than the manner with which they are studied -- I'd rather my students
(or my children, for that matter) have a thoughtful, deep
understanding of algebraic thinking than a superficial command of lots
of computational techniques (still better would be both) -- but unlike
CIV, there are *direct* applications of what is learned in beginning
algebra in future courses and work.

Or maybe I'm agreeing with Josh -- which just goes to show how little
my liberal arts education helped my reading skills.

Ted Alper

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