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

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 Subject: RE: Factoring polynomials Author: Mathman Date: Jun 29 2006
On Jun 29 2006, Grip wrote:
Since
> the set of factorable polynomials is a small subset of polynomials,
> you have know the answer to write a question, which really defeat
> the purpose of the problem-solving.

If you can name an
> application, then teach factoring when it is needed, not as a stand-
> alone skill.

I am looking forward to someone else challenging my
> thinking on this subject.

Well, there goes the study of prime numbers down the drain.  There's no sense
distinguishing them until someone needs to know a use for them?

A major reason for "stand-alone" study of any topic as necessary lies in the
amount of time it takes young people to not only see, but to study, learn
[memorise], understand, and then gain at least some level of skill.  Then
there's a level of mastery that some attain so that, being then second nature,
they do not need to struggle with it while struggling with some more complex
studies that involve its use.  This is a too-common problem as students are
quickly drawn through a study, the need for some mastery, past a slight basic
understanding, being abandonned as more and more topics are thrust upon them.
They now must also struggle to learn computer skills along with their major
struggle to learn the material at hand, already deemed difficult for them on the
average.

I would agree wholeheartedly that the primary study should not be *far* in
advance of application.  It was not so in the past.  Is it so now?  If they are
going to use patterns, they must first learn to recognise them, and again first
in simplest terms.

David.

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