Monday, November 15, 2010

too late for some of us, but the future of math is here!


Cynthia said...

I don't want it to be too late! I have never understood the process or the way that mathematics works ... but I want to. I want to be able to understand how to determine what is the best insurance policy!

At 47 I don't want to believe it is too late. But with my math phobia, how do I figure out what is the best way to relearn. And I'd like to pass some excitement and understanding to my children. But I don't know where to start.

rfs said...

@Cynthia- You are right. It's never too late!! I have many links you can refer to in the blog and here are some to start with:

Paul Lockhart:
"What I find so pathetic about our math education system is that it reduces a lively, creative, and messy human art form to a sterile set of notations and procedures, then attempts to train students to master them and become "technically skilled." Of course it fails even on its own terms because there is no coherent narrative - the teacher doesn't know where the natural logarithm came from, what its problem history is, what it means within the context of modern mathematics, only that it's on the test and the students need to "know" it. So the students cram some formulas into their heads for a day or two, pass a test, and promptly forget them. Of course most people can't retain dry, meaningless hieroglyphic information that they had no role in creating or contextualizing, so they get classified by the teacher (and by themselves) as "bad at math." (I worry that the most talented mathematician of our time may be a waitress in Tulsa, Oklahoma who considers herself bad at math.)"

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