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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Teaching Mathematics as a Science


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Subject:   RE: Teaching Mathematics as a Science
Author: moursund
Date: Aug 6 2004
I read the introductory message very quickly, thereby misreading it. I
immediately thought of a cuple of responses, before rereading the original
message and better understanding its topic.

Two things occur to me. First, there is a great deal of knowledge about the
Science of Teaching and Learing. (An excellent and free book on this topic is
available on the web at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/6160.html ). Discovery method
approaches to teaching and learning are part of that accumulated knowledge.

Second, I thought about science as a discipline from which one might draw
meaningful examples related to the math one is teaching. Unfortunately, thinking
along those lines made me think about the movement to remove much of the math
from the first physics course that studetns might take in high school, and put
that course before both chemistry and biology in the sequence of science
courses. Part of what bothers me about this is that one of the key ideas in math
is representing (modeling) real world problems and situations using math. A
whole lot of what physics is about is developing such models.

Dave Moursund

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