[etoys-dev] [squeakland] Fwd: Calculus discovery by and for young people

K. K. Subramaniam kksubbu.ml at gmail.com
Wed Jan 26 21:26:31 EST 2011

On Thursday 27 Jan 2011 7:02:37 am David Corking wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 8:18 PM, Edward Cherlin wrote:
> > We have the offer of a calculus book for elementary grades.
> At a brief (and all too cursory) first impression, Don Cohen's
> approach seems to be based on what a student can discover with pencil
> and paper. These are good things. Yet, to me, one strong appeal of
> calculus is its dynamic applications, which can be revealed
> (numerically if not analytically) to students who build their own
> animated Etoys.
Just a note of caution. Elementary grades are where students pickup fluency in 
writing and reading. I hear teachers, even in USA, face students who are yet 
to become fluent in reading/writing to use programs like Etoys meaningfully. 
Try using Etoys with dingbat fonts for a week to understand how it feels to a 
elementary grader.

Elementary grade students are intensely physical. They learn more through 
movements, touch and sounds than through sight. If "teaching" means 'reaching 
out to >80% of learners' then abstract models like Etoys or Pen/Paper can only 
supplement more concrete learning aids.


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