[Squeakland] Panel discussion: Can the American Mind be Opened?

Karl karl.ramberg at comhem.se
Tue Nov 27 01:45:09 PST 2007

subbukk wrote:
> On Saturday 24 November 2007 7:23 pm, Bill Kerr wrote:
>> I followed that link in the history to this paper which is a more direct
>> and concrete critique of discovery learning taken too far, with well
>> explained examples of different approaches:
>> http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/american_educator/fall99/wu.pdf
>> A Bogus Dichotomy in Mathematics Education
>> BY H. WU
> Prof. Wu does well to call the bluff in treating skills vs. understanding as a 
> zero sum game. However, I find some of his claims run counter to my own 
> observations of how children learn. The claim "children welcome any 
> suggestions that save labor" is simply not true. On encountering a concept 
> for the first time, children tend to repeat it many times even though the 
> process is quite tedious. It is only after many repetitions that they become 
> receptive to suggestions to shortcuts. Either they discover the pattern by 
> themselves or can be nudged gently towards the Aha discovery either by the 
> teacher or by their peers.
So like in programming, early optimization is a no-no. My experience 
with learning is that I get introduced to something, then I have a 
period of grinding before I 'get it', then I can expand on that knowledge.

> The issue that I have with algorithms being taught in schools is that they are 
> introduced too early in the learning curve and are often introduced as "the 
> method". I have seen many untutored people learn to do additions left to 
> right. They would tie themselves into knots if asked to use the conventional 
> right to left method.
> Subbu
> _______________________________________________
> Squeakland mailing list
> Squeakland at squeakland.org
> http://squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland

More information about the Squeakland mailing list