[Squeakland] Panel discussion: Can the American Mind be Opened?
karl.ramberg at comhem.se
Tue Nov 27 01:45:09 PST 2007
> 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:
>> BASIC SKILLS VERSUS CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING
>> 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.
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