CTK Insights

Archive for the 'Education reform' Category

03 May

No Need To Lose the Battle

In passing, I totally disagree with Tanya's thesis that "People who think make better decisions, whether they want to buy a house or vote for a president." That's factually wrong. This would be rather presumptuous to assume that the ones who disagree with one's choice of a president give their vote thoughtlessly. I am certain Tanya did not mean that.

17 Feb

Beating a Dead Horse: Mathematics Education Reform - Again

Marcus du Sautoy: During my year as President of The Mathematical Association the government began a review of the curriculum across all subjects taught in school. Given the constant tinkering with the education system by every government, this is probably a sentence that any MA president could write during their tenure

20 Dec

The Forgotten Art of Spherical Trigonomtery

Now, do you really care how much mathematics went into building bridges, refrigerators, airplanes, or gasoline refinery? Mathematics is being used in every conceivable piece of technology, every branch of science, while some of it even proves useful to practically everyone in everyday life. So, my question is, Is it truly necessary to burden the students with a study of the subject which most of them won't be using in their work on the pretext of its extremely universal usefulness? I believe that past and present educational reforms keep beating a dead horse.

19 Jun

Children, parents and puzzles

I wonder whether the girl in the story was naturally scared of mental exercises, disliked puzzles or math, or, perhaps, her mom's injunction played a role in setting the girl into a wrong mood. I had a very clever classmate who - likely for that very reason - felt under pressure to perform well at examinations, but never had.

18 Jun

The Euclid Debate from 1869

TweetI am reading Lewis Carroll in Numberland by Robin Wilson that I reported buying earlier. The book is an extended professional - so to speak - biography of Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll. Here's a passage from the book (pp 89-90) that adds another pair of quotes to the two I posted not […]

15 Jun

Two quotes on math education

TweetThere is a firmly held belief that study of mathematics has a benevolent effect on brain development. I am not aware of any research that supports this thesis. The evidence is mostly anecdotal, like that expressed in the following quote: To those of us who have not pursued the study of mathematics since college days […]

11 May

A Hundred Years War

TweetNCTM began publishing its Yearbooks in 1926. The very first one has been reprinted in 1955 and until a few years back was available at the NCTM store. My yesterday's search at the NCTM site for "First Yearbook" brought up only one item: Johnny W. Lott's (NCTM President 2002-2004) article A Static Mathematics Curriculum Is […]

10 May

Escher the Mathematician

TweetThis is a well known fact that M. C. Escher - the Dutch artist whose graphic work achieved recognition towards the end of the 20th century, especially among mathematicians - consistently denied his ability to understand or do mathematics. His son George has observed that Father had difficulty comprehending that the working of his mind […]

27 Apr

Poincaré And Standardized Testing

TweetHenri Poincaré (1854-1912) was a teenager during the Franco-Prussian war. He taught himself German in order to keep abreast of the news [Ayoub, 17-18]: Opponents of standardized tests would be interested to know that after achieving fame, he agreed to take the Binet test whose use was becoming more widespread; he performed abominably! According to […]

22 Apr

D. E. Smith's Quotes

TweetDavid Eugene Smith was a well-known author, math historian and educator and a past president of the Mathematical Association of America. His 1913 address to the New England Association of Teachers of Mathematics raises and attempts to answer questions that are relevant to math education today as they were then. Below I gathered several quotes […]

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