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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Finding Time


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Subject:   content vs. understanding
Author: Cathi
Date: Mar 20 2003
Chuck, you have explained it perfectly. To me, this is the MOST important issue
in teaching. Yes, content does matter, but will be forgotten unless the students
understand the WHY of it all, so they can re-construct the knowledge when they
need it.

And yes, it is very hard to do all of this, as you described.

My question is, who decides the content that must be covered? (I have lots that
I could say about that miserable word *cover*!) And how can we foster
exploration, creativity, understanding the *why*? Is there anyone among us who
has found a way to do both ways?

I particularly liked your statement: "I think it is a mistake to allow our
courses to become too curriculum based where we cover material but not develop
scholarship."

I don?t know about other schools, and other math departments, but here we have
such a large body of content that it seems like a race to the finish, from the
first day.

Any ideas?


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