# boxed math

### unboxed

**#unboxed.**

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### a mash-up of #unboxed thinking

**huge take-away from 2009**:

**huge take-away from this morning**:

*Education is still characterized as a place you go, to*

*get taught*— where we teach and our students learn how to*be taught*. Yet, in the real world, learning is not something that is done to you, but something that you do yourself, in your own way, with your resources and sense of resourcefulness. I am not saying that every student moment in school is spent in passive receipt or that teaching should never happen. But “being taught” is still the character of the beast, and**it is getting in the way of helping people learn to teach themselves.**nice – @WendyDrexler: @RuthHoward teacher as facilitator as kids have the pleasure of finding things out..(feynman) http://bit.ly/cL5F2J (link to updated hole in the wall)

Seymour Papert – of math and men – aka: school/boxed math ..oh my math

i like to say.. there’s a big distinction between something i love.. called mathematics and something called math.. which is what we teach in schools.. that’s not a mathematics curriculum.. it’s a math curriculum

why curriculum..?

mathematics is an active intellectual activity.. and it means working at things where you’re using the mathematical ideas that you’re struggling with for a larger purpose..

and the idea that the larger purpose could be discovering something that the teacher has decided you’ve got to discover is not a larger purpose.. that’s just play acting.. and the kids are quite sensitive.. quite aware of thati think at that age.. kids could be doing quite complex projects.. using computer technology or .. (we’re) doing a lot of stuff w non computer tech .. using mechanical things w leggo for ie and building devices w involving gearing and how to max the force or how steep a slope a vehicle can climb up

ie of probably not kids deeper problem.. (slope, gearing, et al)

there’s room in that for a lot of mathematical thinking.. which typically what you learn in middle school.. is not really what you need and even if it does teach you ..you..normally the kind of mathematical ideas you could use.. you don’t know how to use it

take multiplication for ie.. kids think of multiplication as something you do to numbers.. and you’re supposed to learn these mult tables.. and you do some rituals called.. multi digit mult.. but for me as a mathematician.. not dealing w multiplication at all..

you’re only manipulating the formalism.. and understanding multiplication is like understanding.. what is the kind of relationship between say.. time and distance and velocity.. why is that a multiplicative rather than an additive relationshipthere’s nothing in the way that we talk about multiplication in elementary school.. for that matter in the kind of work that pre service teachers get.. that prepares them to even see that as a meaningful question.. it’s multiplication because that’s the formula.. but that’s not an answer.. mult has to do w a particular kind of relationship where there’s a certain kind of linearity and a certain kind of particular relationship of proportionality..

so.. i think they just don’t deal w the ideas.. and school generally is a little bit idea averse.. in mathematics it’s almost entirely idea averse.. you learn skills.. you learn how to do things.. even when you learn how to solve certain puzzle like problems.. you’re never dealing with the ideas

better yet.. since we have the means.. let’s deal with the curiosities.. via 2 convos.. as the day

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…].. a nother way