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Discussion: All Lesson Plans on Computer
Topic: creative opening question for a lesson

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Subject:   RE: creative opening question for a lesson
Author: Mathman
Date: Jun 29 2006
On Jun 29 2006, vms wrote:
> I have a task to write a creative lesson opener question for some
> lessons on the topics which don't seem to have much relevance to any
> Real Life or pracitcal application.

This is a common question. I could run off at the mouth about it, but the meat
and potatoes is that some studies simply do not have any base practical
application until used in later, more advanced studies.  Those later studies are
so complex that they need years of foundational studies in preparation.

All of their electronic toys would disappear if there were no studies of the
complex number system for example, and I have found no use at all for that in my
woodworking hobby.  Now look at what is required prior to a study of complex
numbers ...common arithmetic, algebra, geometry, .... .  A knowledge of
factoring is useful to see how to do arithmetic of complex numbers, and the
complex number system is essential in studies in electronics. ....and that's
just one area of consideration.

It would be better to work backwards with some of the items such as electronic
gadgets and computers and discuss what makes them tick.  However, that might be
like trying to explain mortgages, or a study of Shakespeare to 5 yr olds just
learning their alphabet and how to count.  Sometimes they just plain have to do
it, and without explanation, except to tell them to be patient.

It's not just the young who ask the question.  Picture a university hall filled
with 300 young engineers and science students.  The course is one in psychology.
Out came the young prof with his turtle neck sweater and suede shoes.  Propped
himself on the desk, and crossed his legs, and 300 engineers/scientists started
to laugh.  He left.  Next day ... he walked in and started to write on the
blackboard ..."THINGS TO KNOW FOR YOUR EXAM."  No-one laughed, and all started

Sometimes it's best to just plough ahead.


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