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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Teaching Mathematics as a Science


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Subject:   RE: Teaching Mathematics as a Science
Author: Grip
Date: Aug 11 2004
I must respond to the last response. Although Bethany has been doing a fine job
of trying inform you, I don't think you are reading anything she is saying,
other than to come back with some sort of smart-alec response. You are right,
tpowers, that I don't agree with the least in your position. It seems you want
mathematics to be a sifter, if a student doesn't like a particular part of
mathematics, just boot them or encourage them to not pursue it becuase they
struggle in the least.
    We have been trying the rote memorization way for hundreds of years and
hasn't worked for the vast majority of the population. According to your view of
mathematics we should just give students a recipe box full of formulas and send
them on their way. The "discovery method" actually requires to think about the
relationship vertically and horizontally about math. You are right, it can be
harder than rote memorizaiton, but then again students are actually learning.


You finished your post with

I guess this idea is somewhat
> heretical, but I believe that learning to write math belongs in
> English class.  I wouldn't do away with it.

This statement is what motivated me to respond. Since when isn't communication
important in mathematics? This statement really shows that you have absolutely
no understanding of the importance of mathematics in and outside of education.
Reading and writing are fundamental to every aspect of every discipline. Let me
guess, you think reading should be left to the reading teacher.

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