Ars chats with math teacher Ben Orlin about his book Change Is the Only Constant.
Finally, I decided to build it around all my favorite stories that touched on calculus, stories that get passed around in the faculty lounge, or the things that the professor mentions off-hand during a lecture. I realized that all those little bits of folklore tapped into something that really excited me about calculus. They have a time-tested quality to them where they’ve been told and retold, like an old folk song that has been sharpened over time.
And this is roughly how memory and teaching has always worked. Stories and repetition.
–November 11, 2019 at 09:56AM
Teachers are being forced to adapt to new tools that execute homework perfectly.
The headline is a bit click-baity, but the article is pretty solid nonetheless.
There is some interesting discussion in here on how digital technology meets pedagogy. We definitely need to think about how we reframe what is happening here. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t look back at the history of the acceptance (or not) of the calculator in math classes from the 60’s onward.
Where it comes to math, some of these tools can be quite useful, but students need to have the correct and incorrect uses of these technologies explained and modeled for them. Rote cheating certainly isn’t going to help them, but if used as a general tutorial of how and why methods work, then it can be invaluable and allow them to jump much further ahead of where they might otherwise be.
I’m reminded of having told many in the past that the general concepts behind the subject of calculus are actually quite simple and relatively easy to master. The typical issue is that students in these classes may be able to do the first step of the problem which is the actual calculus, but get hung up on not having practiced the algebra enough and the 10 steps of algebra after the first step of calculus is where their stumbling block lies in getting the correct answer.
I remember using volume III in Dr. James Martino‘s class many moons ago and enjoying its style. I do however have to credit all my facility in the subject to Dr. Richard Joseph who taught it to me by means of the steepest gradient possible – that of electromagnetic theory.