Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-30-1987

Abstract

The layperson's response to mathematics is often that of desperation. When we tell people our occupation, do we more often than not hear about their unpleasant experiences with mathematics. They often tell us, "I studied algebra in high school and haven't used it since!" Indeed, that may be true. However, we can reply, "How many times has algebra been used on you?" We are all restricted, and protected, by the formulas of mathematics. In the mysterious metaphors we have agreed to cal mathematics, all creation is involved, from the symbol-happy logician down to the cunning geometers, the bees. When I trust myself to a ladder, I lean upon mathematics. Every baby is a formula-baby, for when we say that its growth is a function of its nourishment, what are we citing but a case of calculus?

There are no nonmathematical minds, but only nonmathematical teachers. The masses who draw back in fear at the sound of the word "mathematics" are often merely suffering from a bad persistent case of early pedagogy. I believe one of the first steps in motivating the unmotivated is in getting them to realize that We, the teachers, are NOT the enemy.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.