Sunday, February 1, 2009

Critical thinking through the years

We used to teach plane geometry, where students actually learned to reason.
We didn't do it in groups.

Each student worked on it -- worked hard, if they wanted to learn it. Students learned real logical thinking, real reasoning skills.

Now we put them in groups to have deep "conceptual thoughts" and do "critical thinking" on stuff they know nothing about. Of course, we've thrown plane geometry overboard.

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Sounds like a recipe for producing a population that will accept anything the spin doctors put forth.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dan,

Before studying Geometry I believe students need to study at least a half year of formal logic. This will better prepare them to understand the reason for proofs.

T^2

Anonymous said...

World standards suggest teaching formal geometry in the fourth grade. Geometry in US elementary schools is reduced to learning quadrilaterals and formulas for Platonic solids.

Geometry is one of the least taught subjects in US education, yet arguably as important as formal algebra. Worse US schools treat algebra and geometry as separate topics.

Our misguided, incompetent, counterphobic moralistic authors think integrated means adding reading and writing to the math curriculum.

Anonymous said...

Integrated textbooks (especially Core Plus) were written by jackasses - in addition to writing undecipherable textbooks, they think porpoises communicate with aliens and write screenplays for Sasquatch documentaries.

The MAA should be elevated and renamed Moore's Academy of Academics. It describes them to a tee - a snidely gaggle of self-righteous, brayers.

Anonymous said...

Core plus takes a wild stab at teaching formulas for Platonic solids - the lying idiots stole their ideas from math olympiad problems.