Thursday, September 01, 2011

Imagining Mathematics

Read below the pedagogical proposition by Dr Sol Garfunkel and Prof David Mumford (2011) regarding pragmatic approaches for teaching and learning mathematics:
Imagine replacing the sequence of algebra, geometry and calculus with a sequence of finance, data and basic engineering. In the finance course, students would learn the exponential function, use formulas in spreadsheets and study the budgets of people, companies and governments. In the data course, students would gather their own data sets and learn how, in fields as diverse as sports and medicine, larger samples give better estimates of averages. In the basic engineering course, students would learn the workings of engines, sound waves, TV signals and computers. Science and math were originally discovered together, and they are best learned together now.
Mathematics is at once, symbolic, real, and conceptual for some -- I tend to agree. Dr Garfunkel is the executive director of the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP). Follow the link below to learn more about COMAP's activities.


Source: Garfunkel, S & Mumford, D (2011, August 21), How to Fix Our Math Education, New York Times Online.

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