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What mathematics is and isn't

A colleague sent me a link to this article, an impassioned plea for teaching mathematics as a voyage of discovery rather than as memorization of formulae and algorithms. (Entirely accessible to the non-mathematician, BTW, and frequently funny.)

Pretty much everybody agrees, at the lip-service level, that Subject X should be taught as a voyage of discovery rather than as rote memorization, and those noble intentions frequently fall victim to the cold reality of teaching too many classes with too many students in too little time while they prepare for too many standardized tests. But even at that, I think math tends to come off worse in practice than many other Subjects X.


There are 27 kids in my kids' 2nd grade classes, and one teacher.
Yes, that's obviously a recipe for mindless busy-work. It's possible to teach well with that many students, but not easy.

Have you read (or at least started) the article?
Yes -- or one very much like it, sometime in the past month or so. I discussed it with Metageek, and tasked him with communicating some of the fun he sees in math to the kids. (He's a math major.)
Oh, that is wonderful!