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Download Contemporary Issues in Mathematics Education: Proceedings of by Estela A. Gavosto, Steven G. Krantz, William McCallum PDF

By Estela A. Gavosto, Steven G. Krantz, William McCallum

Up to now decade, arithmetic schooling has replaced swiftly, giving upward push to a polarization of critiques one of the neighborhood of study mathematicians. what's the applicable stability between thought, strategy, and functions? what's the position of expertise? How can we satisfy the wishes of scholars getting into different fields? the aim of this quantity, the complaints of a convention held on the Mathematical Sciences examine Institute in Berkeley in 1996, is to provide a significant dialogue of those academic matters, with a balanced illustration of opposing principles. half I offers with common matters in collage arithmetic schooling; half II offers case stories on specific initiatives; half III provides a variety of critiques on arithmetic schooling in user-friendly and secondary faculties; and half IV provides the reviews of the operating teams.

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Additional resources for Contemporary Issues in Mathematics Education: Proceedings of a Conference at MSRI, December, 1996

Example text

Our research is mostly Proof II. Anyway, although I believe what I do is interesting, I’m pretty sure that most of my students don’t. They might be expecting proofs from me because that is what a mathematician does, but they are not looking forward to it. 5. Proofs are beautiful. Some of Proof I is beautiful and some isn’t. I don’t find the limit of the sum proof especially appealing, but I know a breathtaking proof that if f > 0 on an interval then f is increasing (it does not involve the Mean Value Theorem).

In the smaller colleges, any change would seems to come only with some special effort or ingenuity. Finally, the present proposal is very germane to the current education reform in K–14. There is a tendency in this reform to make sweeping changes: wholesale replacements of existing curricula or pedagogies are routinely recommended. The idea that one can offer alternatives to some but not all of what are already in place appears to be foreign to the reformers, as is the need to clearly delineate the liabilities as well as virtues of every one of the proposed changes.

On the other hand, I feel Proof II does help, but I have no solid evidence. 2. It is useful in later mathematics courses for students to see proofs in a calculus course. The obvious question here is: What later course? The halflife of a calculus student is one semester, and well under 10% of the students in a standard calculus class will ever major in mathematics. Whether it is useful or not for potential mathematics majors, we better have a good reason for the other 90% of the class. As for the majors themselves, I am sure there is some value in seeing proofs, but I’m not sure how much.

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