The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Policy and News » mathed-news

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: Reaction to the Galernter Post
Replies: 0  

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List  
Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Reaction to the Galernter Post
Posted: Oct 1, 1998 1:04 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

[Note: I received the following reaction to the Galernter post - I am
sending it on with the permission of Tony Ralston.]


I have just seen your article in Thursday's New York Post. I am not part
of the educational establishment you flay nor am I a partisan of the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics with whom I often disagree.
Nevertheless I am appalled at your article which is full of misinformation.

I make three brief points:

1. You say "If you hand a child a calculator, you must take care that it
is used judiciously or the result is catastrophic". Judicious - certainly
but catastrophic? Is there an iota of evidence to support such apocalyptic

2. You say that the proponents of calculator use believe that "To the
extent we allow children to rely on them, teachers needn't waste time on
basic arithmetic". But not only have I never heard this opinion expressed
by anyone who supports calculator use in schools; I don't believe you can
find a "teacher or principal" who espouses this viewpoint.

3. You claim that "when you hand children an automatic, know-it-all crib
sheet, you undermine learning - obviously". You are correct but a
calculator is *not* such a "crib-sheet" if used appropriately in elementary
school mathematics and I know of no one who believes calculators should be
used as "crib sheets".



Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.