Swallowing the PR about Math…you know, when my kids ask me, “What do you think we should be focusing on to get a good job?” my answer isn’t what you might expect. After all, I’m a writer. That’s what I do no matter where I am, what job I do.
“You need to focus on math, science, and write about how and what you are doing.”
Listening to the TED Talk by Conrad Wolfram (http://www.wolframalpha.com/) via Melissa McClatchy‘s 6 Tech II Daily, I like the following points:
- Using computers is the silver bullet of making math education work.
- Pose the right questions.
- Change real world problem into math problem.
- We ought to be using computers to do step 3. (My mother, a veteran math teacher who is 82 years old, disagrees with this…everyone needs to do this calculating by hand).
- Math is not equal to calculating…it’s the chore, it’s a means to an end, not an end in itself.
- Computers dumb math down…do we really believe that the math most people are doing in school practically today is more than applying procedures to problems they don’t understand for reasons they don’t get? I don’t think so.
- Make math more practical and conceptual simultaneously…
Wow. I love quotes and questions like that, don’t you? I can’t disagree with these points. I use technology to solve math problems, not sit around doing calculations by hand. My traumatic experiences in math education through various schools in different countries make me ask a question whose answer is obvious to me:
Have we abdicated real world, math formulation, verification process to an education process that hasn’t updated the technologies it needs to teach kids how to use?
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure