Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Wolfram and Benezet Silver Bullets For Making Math Education Work

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “The Wolfram and Benezet Silver Bullets For Making Math Education Work” [Hake (2010)]. The abstract reads:


ABSTRACT: Conrad Wolfram, in his talk “Teaching kids real math with computers” , said “I believe that correctly using computers is the silver bullet for making math education work.”

Over 70 years ago Louis Paul Benezet discovered another silver bullet for making math education work: viz., abandoning the mindless drill that goes with most formal instruction of mathematics in the lower grades.

Although admired by heavy-weight mathematicians such as Hassler Whitney and Andrew Gleason, Benezet's work has been generally ignored by the education community and vilified by traditionalist math warriors.

It remains to be seen whether or not Wolfram's “silver bullet” of 2010, up against similar negative influences, will have any more effect on math education than did Benezet's of 1935/36.


To access the complete 6 kB post please click on .

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University

Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands

President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)>

“Mathematics is the gate and key of the sciences. . . .Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of this world. And what is worse, men who are thus ignorant are unable to perceive their own ignorance and so do not seek a remedy.”

Roger Bacon (Opus Majus, bk. 1, ch. 4)

REFERENCES [URL shortened by; all URL's accessed on 11 December 2010.]

Hake, R.R. 2010. “The Wolfram and Benezet Silver Bullets For Making Math Education Work,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 11 Dec 2010 13:48:36-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to various discussion lists.

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