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Discussion: All Topics in Algebra
Topic: Algebra Textbook Recommendation

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Subject:   RE: Algebra Textbook Recommendation
Author: Why Guy
Date: Jul 6 2007
On Jul  6 2007, autumdove wrote:
> 1.  A
> quote from John Saxon's literature: "Do not try to teach
> your
> students to think.  Practice, practice, practice.
> Eventually they
> will get it."  I couldn't disagree more.  I have
> two passions, which
> drive all of my work.  The first is, I must
> make sure students
> understand "why" the mathematics is what it
> is.  Not just why we
> "do" it the way we do, but why it even makes
> sense to CONSIDER doing
> it that way.

4.  As "certified"
> mathematics teachers, we have the
> potential of being some of the
> most arrogant teachers in education.
> We "know" a subject with
> which many people have trouble.  And we
> don't often let you
> forget that.  When a math teacher looks at my
> material (this
> actually happened) and says that it has the most
> detailed
> conceptual explanations she has ever seen, and the most
> vivid
> graphics clarifying the concept, and then says, "There's no
> way I
> would use this in my classroom", that pretty much makes the
> case.
> The follow-up was, "I will never use anything in my classroom
> that can do a better job than I can."  Case closed.

  I have to
> totally disagree with you on point #1 - the "WHY" is exacely what
> Saxon student learn.  This I know, because I experienced it myself;
> my blood boiled over and over again all throught the years that we
> studied Saxon math when I realized over and over again the why of so
> many concepts that I never learned in school;  without that
> understanding, math just doesn't work!

As for point #4, I
> couldn't agree with you more!  :-)

My only response to your first comment is that John Saxon himself made that
statement, and I confirmed it myself in several conversations with him.  He was
an engineer in the military and told me he wasn't concerned with students
"figuring out" the concepts.  He just wanted them to practice the procedures
until they could "do them in their sleep".

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